Yamato: The Drummers of Japan: February 23, 2020

The Yamato Drummers, hailing from Japan, expressed the powerful energy of life by way of rhythm, tempo, and pitch to the audience through their powerful Wadaiko drums. The dynamic choreography of the drummers, combined with the vivid heartbeat-esque cadences played on their traditional 400-year-old drums, shows me the drummers were expressing more than just a song, they were beating their souls into the drums; and, in doing so, into the audience. 

I also found it fascinating how the drummers would communicate into the crowd, not with voices; but rather with their motions, sounds, and rhythms. I was reminded of the material that both Bory and Munger covered in their units with how we understand messages and motion, as well as our bottom-up understanding of performance. 

I remember whispering to a friend during the performance about the way our bodies would shake when the performance would beat their drums. The power behind every thump of the drum was invigorating, ending with us creaming in call and response with the performers. By the end of the performance, we all felt as if we were ready for war; we all felt a massive amount of potential energy coursing through us. I would say this performance was by far one of my favorites. I have never had an experience that makes me feel so alive like this one did.

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