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Rhythms resonate for music collective

by Brad Bennett

The first production by the “Resonance” grouping of artists turned heads in 2007, and now Kaoru Watanabe, formerly the artistic director of Kodo (Japan’s most well-known taiko drum performance group), has returned to Japan to bring together another eclectic mix of performers for “Resonance II.”

Watanabe’s return effort is likely to please fans of the first shows two years ago judging by a performance at Tokyo’s “Super Deluxe” on June 6, which featured the delicate sounds of Watanabe’s bamboo flute, the warm and soothing Bossa Nova vocals of Mio Matsuda, the athleticism of internationally acclaimed New York dancer Tamango, the original sounds of percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and the powerful taiko beats of Yuu Ishizuka.

It is rare to see such a variety of talent on stage in one show, and the audience responded enthusiastically to the performers’ effort to present a unique collaborative experience.

The show will be in Kyoto on June 13 and Osaka the following evening.

Watanabe currently teaches traditional Japanese music and producing similar crosscultural, multidisciplinary events in his home of New York. Let’s hope he does not wait another two years to return to Japan.

“Resonance II” will be at Kyoto’s Urban Guild on June 13 (7 p.m. open, 8 p.m. start) and Osaka’s Full Bloom on June 14 (6 p.m. open, 7 p.m. start). Advance tickets ¥3,000; ¥3,500 at the door.