Friday, July 6, 2012

San Jose Taiko shares ‘playdate’ process for Rhythm Spirit 2012 Concerts

San José, CA --- June 18, 2012 --- San Jose Taiko draws inspiration from the digitally-driven Silicon Valley for its “Rhythm Spirit 2012” production September 21 and 22. The company will be at an exciting new venue this year: the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. SJT will also partner with the Zero1 Festival to explore the art form of taiko through the medium of digital expression. The production can already be enjoyed by audiences, as SJT shares the process of merging the traditional with the technological. 

“We hosted a number of ‘playdates’ with specialists in various technological and scientific fields with the intent of bringing the audience along on this journey.  The playdates are meant to be freeform idea jam sessions, where we explore possibilities without fear of failure or worrying about whether it would fit into a typical San Jose Taiko production,” explains Artistic Director Franco Imperial.

“We’ve tried to use true play as a way to create and explore.  From the ideas generated at these sessions, we will choose a few that resonate with us and will continue to develop them.  CreaTV and 1stACT will help us document these sessions, which will be shared with our audiences through social media and during our September concerts.  By the time any audience member steps into the theater in September, they will have an idea of what it took to create a particular piece.  We feel the entire audience experience will be enhanced because of this.”

To date, playdate topics have included the sonification of seismic data and use of the Xbox360 Kinect Sensor.  Idea partners range from PhDs from the USGS (United States Geological Survey) in Madison, Wisconsin to the software hacking community in San Francisco.

Executive Director Wisa Uemura adds, “Zero1 has been an amazing thought-partner in the early stages of this concept.  This year, we’ll be presenting our concert program differently than we have in the past – we will be speaking to the process and actually allowing audience members to come onstage to experience the technology.  Our hope is to provide a more interactive and engaging experience.”

There are three performances of Rhythm Spirit 2012: Friday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. All shows will be held at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors if purchased in advance ($30/$25 at the door).  All seats are reserved, and group rates are available. Ticket information is available by visiting or by calling 408-293-9344.

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About San Jose Taiko:

San Jose Taiko, with a deep respect of cultural traditions and a commitment to artistic excellence, is dedicated to the advancement of the taiko art form through the development of its world-class Performing Ensemble and the San Jose Taiko Conservatory. Located in the heart of Japantown of San Jose, the company performs throughout the Bay Area, the United States and abroad.

Since 1973, San Jose Taiko (SJT) has integrated this historical Japanese art form with other world rhythms. All compositions performed by SJT are written or arranged by members of the group. Composing, choreographing, designing and producing costumes, and handcrafting of the drums are part of the holistic process in which all members participate. Through this singleness of mind and spirit, harmony is achieved and the music rings with unity and clarity.

Enrich the human spirit. Connect people beyond cultural and demographic boundaries.
San Jose Taiko, 565 North 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112    408 293 9344

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