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Fascinating. Diverse. Hypnotic. Different. Intense. Authentic.
Six attributes describe this spectacular show by Kokubu. The exceptional troupe, dressed in black Kimonos with white head bands, manages to master the balancing act between ground-shaking acoustic hurricanes and subtle rhythms created by the bamboo flute (Shakuhachi).
The ensemble, consisting of 17 energetic members from Osaka, led by Shakuhachi Master Chiaki Toyama, offers their audience both visual and acoustic fireworks. Different groups and different sized barrel drums create, in perfect synchronization or interesting contrast, a rhythm, that keeps the audience captivated.
At times, an impressive barrel drum is placed on the floor and its drum head is worked by an athlete with two massivesticks as big as a lower arm.
Contrasting sounds are provided by flute notes, which captivate the audience with their melodies fromFar East. It creates a music that, to Europeans, has a magical sound and provides a live experience of the Japanese spirituality.Before every piece, a speaker shortly explains the significance of the song and therefore helps the audience understand the traditions that are encapsulated in the art.They talk about the unity of body and soul, the joy of life, nature, the power of the season or the mentality of “moving forward without looking back”.
The audience of the Kokubu shows are as impressed as the media. The reviewer of the ‘Rhein-Zeitung’ experienced “a rousing performance” at the sold-out Stadttheater in Idar-Oberstein, leading him to title his review poetically as “Like the caress of grass blades in the wind”.The ‘Bonner General-Anzeiger’ talked about a “sonic force of energy”, sparked by a “storm of artistic drums”, and summarizes it as “an evening that touches the soul”.As the ‘‚Gießener Zeitung’ wrote, the performance at the hr1-Sendesaal ended in “roaring applause and standing ovations”.
Tickets for the performances of Kokubu, who are touring Germany for the first time since their massive successes in Japan and the USA, are available for purchase, starting at € 29, up to € 49 (excluding fees).

 

Chijaki Toyama