Kennedy Theatre Presents Taiko Drum And Dance
Drummers, from left, Patrick Oiye and Yeeman Mui and dancer, from left, Devon Izumigawa and Mitsuko Horikowa perform is Taiko Drum and Dance at UH Manoa's Kennedy Theatre. (Photo by Reese Moriyama)
taiko drummers and dancers

Drummers, from left, Patrick Oiye and Yeeman Mui and dancer, from left, Devon Izumigawa and Mitsuko Horikowa perform is Taiko Drum and Dance at UH Manoa’s Kennedy Theatre. (Photo by Reese Moriyama)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance is will be presenting Taiko Drum and Dance the first mainstage production of Kennedy Theatre’s Spring 2013 season. This multicultural music and dance concert will come to the Kennedy Theatre’s mainstage February 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 8 p.m., and February 17 at 2 p.m. Audiences will have the opportunity to attend pre-show chats on February 9 and 16 at 7 p.m.

This performance will feature modern and traditional dance choreographed by UH Mānoa faculty members, in performance with taiko artist Kenny Endo and the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble.

Several dances will receive their world premieres at the concert. Two of these, “Empty Sky” by UH Mānoa Assisant Professor Kara Miller and “Jugoya” (“Crystal Clear Moon”) by UH Mānoa Professor Gregg Lizenbery and UH Mānoa Assisant Professor Amy Schiffner, have been choreographed to music composed by Endo. “Araumi” (“Stormy Sea”), choreographed by UH Mānoa Professor Betsy Fisher, will be performed to music composed by Kirstin Pauka, who is both a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble and a professor of Asian theatre at UH Mānoa. “This is incredibly exciting for me,” said Pauka, “because both of my worlds are coming together in this performance.”

UH Mānoa Professor Peggy Gaither Adams, the concert’s director, praises all the artists for their collaborative spirit, and promises a performance that will appeal to fans of both traditional and contemporary dance and music. “We will provide our audience with bold, innovative movement coupled with big, beautiful sound.”

Learn more about Kenny Endo

Kenny Endo is an artist at the vanguard of taiko drumming, melding historical and contemporary Japanese performance. He received an MA in music from the University of Hawaiʻi, and studied with the ground-breaking Kinnara Taiko group in San Francisco. He also spent a decade studying with masters of Japanese classical, festival and group drumming, and is the first non–Japanese national to be honored with a natori (stage name) in Japanese classical drumming.

Utilizing traditional instruments in innovative combinations, Endo blends Japanese rhythms with music from around the world. In addition to his full performance schedule, Endo is also a recording artist and artistic director of Taiko Center of the Pacific.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Taiko Drum and Dance are available online at, by phone at (808) 944-2697, at participating outlets, and at the Kennedy Theatre box office. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours on performance dates. For disability access, please call the theatre.

Discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Students with a validated Spring 2013 UH Mānoa photo ID will be able to take advantage of the theatre’s buy-one-get-one-free program on Friday, February 8. Tickets go on sale at the door beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday and are subject to availability. UH Mānoa spring 2013 validated ID required.

For more information, please visit Kennedy Theatre’s website or download the news release.

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