Exstasia Campaign #1

Yesterday (Sunday) we had this year's first Exstasia Campaign performances. For those who don't know, Exstasia is a big taiko festival sponsored by Asano Taiko, the city of Hakusan and various other groups and companies in the area. I've written about it the past couple years: 2007, 2008.

Anyhow, around this time of year, the groups that practice at Asano Taiko are sent out to do short performances on the weekends at local shopping centers and malls. We perform for about 30 minutes and then observers have a chance to buy tickets for Exstasia at the end of the performance. Yesterday's groups were Sasuke, jr., Yume Mitai, some members of Shin Matto Bayashi Hozonkai and Hono Taiko. By the end of the day, we had sold 13 tickets (8 adult and 5 child). They told us it was a pretty good result.

I was playing as a member of Yume Mitai yesterday (although I am also in Shin Matto Bayashi). Usually there are about 15 of us, but yesterday, there were only 7. Furthermore, I was asked to switch parts the Saturday night. Considering the last minute switch, having no chance to rehearse the new part before the performance, and our small numbers, we did pretty well. There was only one spot where I screwed up. There is a part in the song where everyone crouches down, extends their right bachi (stick) to the left and slowly turns back to the center. I have been playing the shime part since last fall, so I had not done this crouching part for quite a while. I forgot which way to turn and turned to the right instead of the left. Senda san, who was playing on my right, was quite surprised and we nearly crashed into each other. I quickly adjusted my movement to the correct side, but it must have been amusing for the observers to see the surprised look on both our faces. Needless to say, it only happened once, and the next two performances were free from any major, noticeable mishaps.

Last time I said I might have some video to post, but it didn't work out that anyone could take video for me. All that I got was some pictures. Enjoy...

Time for a break.

Lunch time.

Preparing to start the final performance of the day. Hono Taiko wearing Happi coats designed by Kansai Yamamoto for their recent performance in Bali.

And a couple pictures of Yume Mitai (1/2) performing.

I always see something I don't like, or I want to fix when I see pictures/video of myself. For example, looking at these pictures, I notice how my arm is still not as straight as I would like it to be. First I thought of the excuse, "well, my arms are pretty long, if I extend them all the way, I will get behind the tempo." But then I told myself, "No excuses, if your arms are longer than everyone else, you just have to learn how to move them more quickly so you don't get behind." That's right. Instead of thinking of excuses why you can't do something, you must figure out a way to do something that seems difficult.

I guess I did alright, though, because after the last performance of the day Mrs. Asano-san said to me, "You're getting pretty good at performing, aren't you."

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