Thursday, October 3, 2013

40th Anniversary concert

This Saturday is San Jose Taiko’s 40th Anniversary concert.  It's a one-shot, two-hour show with quite a lot crammed into it!  We’ve got a first half showcasing some of the more themed pieces, from newer works to more familiar numbers.  One of the pieces guest-stars a member of the Bangerz, marking our 4th production with them to date.  We end the half with a longer collaborative section with Abhinaya Dance Company, making it the 4th year we’ve worked with them.  The second half is one single medley of 22 pieces, songs flowing from one to another.  The longer you’ve seen us play, the more songs you’ll recognize!

For this concert, the biggest challenge for me is long-past.  As one of the three members who created and taught the medley, we had to pick the songs, pick the order, figure out how to flow them, pick personnel, distribute parts and responsibilities, decide which of us would be teaching which “chunks”, and then teach it all to the rest of the group.  Because we were able to do all that earlier on, I feel like I’m able to glide on autopilot for the rest of the way.  Normally I say autopilot is a bad thing because it tends to make people lazy, but in this case, it’s a way to trust that I can do what needs to be done and let me focus my energies on making my actual performance even stronger.

I realize I sound a bit…mellow in this post, not what you’d expect with such a production only three days away.  For me it’s been 20 years of concerts, including four “anniversary” concerts.  I see people with nervous energy and I remember myself being there, but that feeling has been replaced by confidence.  I do miss those butterflies somewhat!  I know when I step foot on stage – actually for a minute before that – I’ll snap into performance mode and not only bring everything I have, but also show the audience what it means to be a member of SJT.

I wish you could all be able to see what we’ve created; it’s no small feat.  The collaborations and medley alone are impressive but the show as a whole is a very powerful experience!  Here’s to the next 40!

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