Monday, November 17, 2008

Tokyo concerts with Taro Terahara and Atsuko Maeda

Following my Greenhouse sojourn, I had several concerts in the Tokyo area with my old friend, the very talented bansuri player Taro Terahara. In a couple of concerts we accompanied Kathak dancer Atsuko Maeda, who has been dancing Kathak since the age of 6! We put together a really good, and I hope next year we can tour Japan together.

Oct 10 Ginza Salon - Odissi Dance & Bansuri Concert

Ikuyo Kubota (窪田育世) - Odissi dance

Shen and Taro @ Ginza Salon, with Minami-san playing tamboura.
We met Minami in Varanasi when we played there a couple of years ago.

Oct 13 Oto-Kin - Kathak Dance and Bansuri

Atsuko Maeda at Otoya-Kintoki
Taro, super-busy as usual, was driving from Nagoya, got caught in a traffic jam, and managed to turn up only a little bit late. So Atsuko performed first with CD accompaniment.

Shen and Taro at Otoya-Kintoki
(or "Oto-kin" - Oto-kin is a regular world music venue in Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo)

Shen and Taro accompany Atsuko's Kathak dance - we performed slow teentaal, medium speed ashtamangal (11 beats) and medium-fast teentaal.

Oct 17 Oto-kin - U-Zhaan and Kai-kun's Tabla duet
I only played tamboura for the bansuri set in this concert, but I wanted to mention it because these two guys are definitely worth mentioning. U-Zhaan is one of the leading tabla players in Japan, remarkable because of his young age and incredible talent. Most of his initial training was taken under Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and he has taken a lot of influence from Ustad Zakir Hussain as well. Super-quick hands and mind, he'd blow every "tabla player" in Australia away for sure. His student Kai is also doing really well, and that is a testament to the breadth and depth of the Indian classical community in Japan.

U-Zhaan and Kai-kun play tabla duet, accompanied by Taro Terahara (bansuri)

Oct 18 Omoto-Sando - Kathak, Bansuri and Tapestry
Our final Tokyo concert was a really nice one, performing at the exhibition of Varanasi-born, UK-based tapestry artist Munni Srivastava. The first part of the night was a discussion of tapestry and the different techniques from around the world used by Munni. For the second part, Atsuko, Taro and I put together a really nice 1 hour show opening with a short keherva arranged dance, then slow teentaal, followed by a 15 minute raga on bansuri while Atsuko changed costumes and then emerged to close the show with ashtamangal (11 beat) and medium-fast teentaal. Very professional. :-)

Munni Srivastava discusses the techniques involved with her art

We included my regular "rabbit-deer-lion" composition in the show - Atsuko does the lion here

A talented bunch of people in the swanky part of town

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