Thunderous applause for TaikOz thunder at Lismore City Hall
It was always going to be a good show. We just didn't know it would be the best of the year.
Formed in 1997, Australian troupe TaikOz are credited with not only being an early Australian taiko (traditional Japanese drumming) ensemble, but also for broadly expanding interest in taiko performance in Australian society.
Their latest offering, Crimson Sky, surprised most of the audience at last night's Lismore City Hall performance.
Based on a haiku by Japanese poet Miura Yuzuru, Artistic Director Ian Cleworth evokes the poem's sensual, dramatic and often playful imagery of a cloud of dragonflies ascending into a deep red sky.
The thunderous drumming of the taiko is mixed with the melodies of bamboo flutes, voice and a rare and sublime performance of the bass koto, a traditional Japanese 17-stringed plucked instrument.
The two-part show is a delightful package of exotic, creative musical rendition.
The sounds are strange and beautiful, melting into music that is strong and delicate. The experience is unique.
It was a delight to see the eight performers exchanging glances, smiles and gestures showing that they were also enjoying their 'day at the office.'
This has been by far the best show of Norpa's 2014 season. Crowd-pleaser Circus Oz (performing October 24 and 25) will be a great way to end Norpa's year, but in terms of artistic expression, TaikOz was a clear 10/10.
It would be a shame if Lismore City Hall is not full to the brim for their second performance today at 7.30pm.
Note: Contains high volume music. 1 hour 55 mins (including interval)