LATI friend and taiko colleague, Joe Small, is seeking taiko players to join in the development and presentation of his final MFA thesis at UCLA. Joe spent a number of years studying with Eitetsu Hayashi and is now focusing on choreography. It's an exciting project and a chance to work with dedicated taiko artists. Read on for the details and contact Joe if interested.
CALL FOR TAIKO ARTISTS (or aspiring artists!) in the LA/Southern CA area for CONCERT project with taiko/choreography artist Joe Small
What is it?
-A roughly year-long creative process culminating in a concert featuring taiko and choreography.
Themes: Power dynamics, masculine roles/tropes, cultural difference and (mis)understanding, memoir.
Length: 70-85 minutes
I'm pursuing an MFA in choreography at UCLA that focuses on taiko. The project and the performance are the equivalent of a thesis.
I will be acting act as artistic director/choreographer as well as a performer.
1. Like to play taiko?
2. Like to move your body (including but not limited to dance)?
3. Have an open mind to playing with convention?
4. Looking for a challenge?
Searching for but not limited to:
-2 male taiko drummers, 2 female taiko drummers (looking for near 50/50 parity, ultimately).
-Certainly able to make adjustments or compromises to these numbers on a case-by-case basis.
-18 or older (no age limit), but able-bodied and with minimum 2 years experience in a taiko drum practice.
*No limitation or discrimination to nationality, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc.
-Commit seriously to the process and performance.
-Have a positive attitude.
Be Willing to:
-Accept and apply feedback as well as thoughtfully communicate and cooperate.
-Learn and try different approaches and techniques to taiko.
-Learn, utilize and generate choreography/composition.
-Expand on your own known forms as necessary.
-Engage with spoken word/theatrical elements as well as singing.
-Push one's self mentally and physically in order to create high quality work.
Concerts Dates (TBD):
-Work-in-Progress showing week of May 26-30 (aka Week 9 in the UC quarter system). This is following Inter-Collegiate Taiko Conference.
-Potential Work-in-Progress showing in December 2014/January 2015
-Work-in-Progress showings in Winter and Spring of 2015
-Official concert likely in April 2015.
Rehearsals - Schedule is flexible but dependent upon coordination of peoples' schedules.
-Primarily held at UCLA - World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department, Glorya Kaufman Hall. (secondary location possible in LA area).
-Intended minimum of 2 times a week (can include weekends), 3 hours per rehearsal
(Summer quarter period may have little or no group rehearsal).
-I hope to have rehearsals running as soon as possible.
Please email me at email@example.com and include contact information and a short biography including relevant taiko, performance, and other artistic experience. Questions are always welcome.
Joe Small, taiko artist/dancer/choreographer, hails from Buffalo, NY. A 2005 graduate of Swarthmore College with a major in dance, he has studied taiko drumming in a variety of locations in Japan and the United States. From 2005-2006 he was a Fulbright Scholar to Japan, after which he became an apprentice for the professional taiko group KODO from 2007-2009. Recently Joe has returned to UCLA after another two-year period studying under solo taiko artist Eitetsu Hayashi, where he performed as a member of his professional ensemble, Fu-Un no Kai. Joe is currently pursuing an MFA in choreography at UCLA's World Arts and Cultures/Dance department.
jsmall at gmail .dot. com