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Taiko Drummers to Come to Campus

PLATTSBURGH, NY (March 4, 2008) - SUNY Plattsburgh's Student Activities Office is pleased to offer a free performance of the Burlington Taiko drummers, at 7 p.m. in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium of the college's Hawkins Hall on Tuesday, March 11.

Burlington's Taiko Group This presentation will feature members of the Burlington Taiko Group fully committing their bodies and spirits to the beautiful, precise choreography and powerful, surging rhythms expressed by the Japanese art of taiko. Taiko, Japanese for "big drum," is a relatively modern revival of ancient Japanese drumming traditions. The drums were originally developed in India, where they were used in religious ceremony to represent the voice of the Buddha. Moving across China and Korea with the spread of Buddhism, taiko arrived in Japan around 500 AD.

Taiko quickly became part of Japanese culture; spiritual healers played taiko to dispel evil spirits and drive insects from the rice fields; Samurai employed taiko to instill fear in the enemy and courage in themselves; villagers used taiko to in their prayers for rain and in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Over time, many areas developed unique choreography and rhythms celebrating festivals or recreations of historic events.

The Burlington Taiko Group has been treating audiences to the powerful and propulsive sounds of the taiko since 1987. The group estimates it has introduced over half a million people to taiko via public appearances including feature performances at the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, annual performances at Burlington's First Night, the Joseph Campbell Keepers of the Lore Festival, the Black Ships Festival in Newport, R.I. and over 200 corporate, collegiate and public performances.

The group has twice been honored by the International Taiko community, having been selected as a feature performer at both the 1998 30th International Taiko Festival in San Francisco and the 1999 North American Taiko Conference in Los Angeles.

For information about this event, contact the Student Activities Office at [email protected] .

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