For the first time in Manila, Japanese group Drum Tao was brought in for a ten-show series at Resorts World Manila. Just a day after their opening show, PhilippineConcerts.com was there to see just what all the buzz was about.
Seconds in, it was already clear that this would be a performance of epic proportions. The curtains rose to reveal two drummers with their backs to the audience, already poised at their gigantic drums.
As the beats began filling the theater, more and more percussionists heralded the opening of the spectacular journey that was Drum Tao.
“Tao”, we learned, is the character that means “the way” or “the road”. A few acts in, all could see why they had chosen to put this word in their name. The show was not merely ninety minutes of people banging at drums, it was the product of years of training, discipline, and hard work. Every member of the ensemble had a mix of skills to partner with their already difficult drum training. This handful of people could not only play drums, but also exhibit martial arts, woodwind instrument mastery, fluid dance form, and traditional string instrument skill.
We noted that Drum Tao was able to achieve a mood mix that is extremely difficult to pair, which is fierceness and comedy in one show. In between epic battle-worthy songs were adorable in-betweeners by a few ensemble members. These performers managed to give an array of entertaining numbers, including fighting ninjas, bouncing around an invisible ball, and playing little games with the audience. It would be safe to say that future spectators can rest assured that they won’t be bored for a moment.
There was a general sense of awe from the audience of the ensemble’s flawless form and grace in their performance. Every number was a new surprise that kept people on the edge of their seats, wondering what would come next.
Aside from the energetic performers, we can’t help dedicating a few lines to the set, costume, and props teams who must have had a nightmare of a time mastering the queues and changes that this show entailed. The ensemble was styled in what we could only describe as a halfway meeting of Japanese warrior and sparkling rockstar; All of this plus a breathtaking set that put the theater in the heart of ancient Japan. The overall experience elicited three —yes, three— standing ovations from the enthralled crowd.
To wrap up this glowing review, we highly encourage anyone and everyone in Manila to book a ticket to Drum Tao: Art of Drum Tour. It is a captivating experience that is almost supernatural in nature, leaving you breathless from your ninety-minute trip to another world.
Drum Tao live in Manila was brought to you by Travelife and Resorts World Manila.
More info at www.drum-tao.com
Review by Carla Barretto
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