Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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If you fancy taking up an instrument that also gives you an aerobic workout, then Taiko drumming is for you.

Originating from Shinto temples in Japan, the audience were treated to an innovative and contemporary performance of this style of physically demanding drumming.

Their name translates as `limitless reverberation’ and they certainly lived up to this.

Starting with a traditional blessing of the stage, the group performed every variety of Taiko

drumming.

I particularly enjoyed the two pieces Chronos and Clau Solas, both inspired by Scottish Gaelic Mythology.

Low pulsing drums, a haunting melody played on a Japanese flute and some very clever choreography using masks reminiscent of Japanese Noh theatre, gave these pieces an ethereal but spectacular quality.

After the break, Mugenkyo introduced the huge Odaiko drum requiring great passion and strength to play, the old theatre reverberated with glorious sound.

One fabulous percussive piece flowed into another, requiring impeccable timing.

Mugenkyo retain the spirit of traditional Taiko, but have given it a thoroughly modern feel.