According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

"OTODAMA" by Rachel Maier


“Dance like drumming, drum like dancing,” the moto of the Japanese dance company COBU, defiantly sums up what you will see at Otodama, their newest work premiering at the Flamboyan Theater in Manhattan. The company utilizes traditional Japanese Taiko drums and hoofing style tap dancing to stimulate and entertain their audience. When experiencing this show, the reverberation of the drums impacts more than just your ears; the sound pulses through your whole body.
Otodama, an exciting fusion of funky tap dance and traditional Japanese Taiko drumming is defiantly a sight to see. The unity with which these dancers perform is simply mesmerizing. The heart of the piece, the meshing of Japanese traditions with the modern New York City vibe, is shown through the synchronization of the tap dance and drumming. The piece as a whole opens with Yako Miyamoto, the choreographer and creator of Otodama, striking a Taiko drum, sending vibrations through every audience member. Hoofing tap dance soon joins the drumming and on occasion, the drumming and tapping hold the same beat. The union of these two sounds symbolizes how Miyamoto feels about her living in NYC, the blending of her Japanese culture with the love for her new home. Miyamoto alludes to this idea in her message in the program: “I am proud of my Japanese soul. And I love this city where rhythm whirls. My heart beats sometimes to a Japanese pulse, sometimes to a NY pulse.”
Otodama is definitely a show worth experiencing and although this performance held a few mishaps, including broken drumsticks and some sliding of the performers, the heart of the show was always present.

CSV Cultural Center- Flamboyan Theater
107 Suffolk Street
Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door or 212-352-3101
Limited engagement Dec 2-11, 2005

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