25th anniversary of Earth Celebration
SADO, Niigata —
It has been a quarter of a century since the world renowned taiko ensemble and Japan’s most internationally acclaimed performing arts group, Kodo, held its inaugural “Earth Celebration” (EC) on Sado Island. Since then, in cooperation with Sado City, this international arts festival has become a venue for Kodo to invite artists they have met in their travels to the group’s home of Sado Island for unprecedented collaborations.
This year’s milestone celebration takes a step back to reexamine the roots of EC and showcase Kodo’s growth over the past year. In 2011, Kodo met acclaimed Tsugaru Shamisen player Hiromitsu Agatsuma while traveling and have incited him for the first time to Sado to take part in Earth Celebration 2012. With past collaborations that include work with global artists such as Herbie Hancock and Marcus Miller, Agatsuma brings both a deep understanding of Japanese music and a wealth of collaborative experience to the EC stage.
2012 also marks the first time that each of the Shiroyama Concerts, EC’s main concert events, will be piloted by three different artistic directors. Kicking off the festival will be Opening Night, marking the first time for Kodo’s Shogo Yoshii to take the reigns of the artistic direction. Designed to be a performance where the audience and performers feel as one, Opening Night will warm up the festival for the 25th anniversary celebrations.
Day two hands over the reigns to Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando, who was appointed Kodo’s principal artistic director earlier
this year. Bando will be directing Dadan, a special program that features rigorously trained drummers pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits. This performance received great acclaim during four sold-out performances at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet in 2012, and with a cast more powerful than ever, Kodo prepares to debut the project outdoors in a special program at EC.
On the final evening, Hiromitsu Agatsuma will join Kodo on stage for Shukusai, a night of quintessential Japanese music directed by Kodo’s own Yuichiro Funabashi. Both taiko and shamisen are instruments used to “beat a rhythm,” and the bold and subtle interweaving of their sounds will meld at the celebration finale. This collaboration between artists from the same era, all of whom use traditional Japanese instruments, will mark a new step for Earth Celebration on the occasion of its 25th anniversary and promises to be a high-energy collaboration that will resonate around the world.
In addition to the main stage performances in Shiroyama Park, the festival will also offer hands-on workshops led by members of Kodo as well as invited artists. Numerous free performances will be on offer at the always-popular “Fringe” stage, which this year has moved to the bustling Harbor Market. Special “pre-events” held from Aug 10 (Fri) through 16 (Thu) include taiko workshops at the Sado Island Taiko Centre, as well as a showcase of traditional performing arts of Kyogen, Noh Theater and traditional dance on the famed Noh stages at Shiizaki Suwa Shrine and Kasuga Shrine.
For more information about additional events, travel and accommodations, visit the Earth Celebration website at http://www.kodo.or.jp/ec.
The Shiroyama Concerts, EC’s main concert events, take place up on the hill in Shiroyama Park’s lush green surroundings.
Aug 17 (Fri)
Open: 17:15 / Start: 18:30
Kodo “Opening Night” [Artistic Director: Shogo Yoshii (Kodo)]
Aug 18 (Sat)
Open: 17:15 / Start: 18:30
Kodo “Dadan” EC Special [Artistic Director: Tamasaburo Bando]
Aug 19 (Sun)
Open: 15:45 / Start: 17:00
“Shukusai” Kodo with Hiromitsu Agatsuma [Artistic Director: Yuichiro Funabashi (Kodo)]
● Ticket Information
Aug 17 (Fri): Advance 4,700 yen, Rush 5,000 yen
Aug 18 (Sat): Advance 4,700 yen, Rush 5,000 yen
Aug 19 (Sun): Advance 5,200 yen, Rush 5,500 yen
Save money with 2 and 3-day passes (Advance sales only)
Aug 17 (Fri) + 18 (Sat): 2-Day Pass 8,400 yen
Aug 18 (Sat) + 19 (Sun): 2-Day Pass 8,900 yen
Aug 17 (Fri) – 19 (Sun): 3-Day Pass 13,000 yen
Student Youth Tickets (for high-school and university students ages 24 & under)
Aug 17 (Fri): Advance 3,500 yen, Rush 3,800 yen
Aug 18 (Sat): Advance 3,500 yen, Rush 3,800 yen
Aug 19 (Sun):Advance 3,500 yen, Rush 3,800 yen
•Ticket sales will end when the venue capacity is reached.
•Student tickets (for ages 24 & under) are available only from the Kodo Ticket Service. Please provide ID with proof of age to purchase or pick up these tickets. Children ageds 14 & under receive free admission.
● Tickets are available through an online order form, or by phone through the Kodo Ticket Service from July 16.
Tel. 0259-86-2330 (Mon – Fri 9:30 – 17:00)