JIGU
Thunder Drums of China
Review by Ross Anthony

Iím a fan of drumming - the percussion of it all, the excitement, the thunder. I loved Stomp and Tap Dogs and I love the Japanese art of Taiko Drumming. Hence, I looked forward to what seemed to be the Chinese version of Taiko Drumming.

Drums fill the stage like dishes of food fill a table. The performers move in lock rhythm, not just in their striking the skins, but where their arms and sticks end up after the hit. Itís quite an elegant choreography. Though almost no narration or vocal element intrude on the show, some of the performers show off their other talents. The highlight of which includes a vibrant costume change for all. Then steps out, the man behind 100 masks (well, 10 at least); with a flick of his neck, each mask instantly disappears revealing the one behind it -- quite a crowd pleasing trick. Other, talents included Chinese wind instruments played with great fervor (although a Chinese flute solo goes a bit long).

While my girlfriend and I loved the thunder, there were some bits that werenít so overwhelming (which included a very slow start to an otherwise enjoyable over-sized-drum solo). Unfortunately, like the flute solo, the entire performance went a bit long and, ironically as it sounds, actually put us to sleep. Iím not talking figuratively, I mean, during the last 20 minutes our eyes were closed and we were dreaming. I wouldnít have mentioned if it was just me, but both of us caught a few. Anyway, other people were up for a standing ovation (so perhaps the two of us had an exhausting day).

(Hailing from China's Shanxi province, this world-reknowned company of 28 drummers, percussionists and musicians astounds audiences with an ultra-sensory entertainment experience. In Chinese, "jigu" means to "beat or touch the drum," and performances are deeply rooted in folk origins, which are blended with many modern musical elements.)

This review based on the April 13th, 2007 show at Caltech, Beckman Auditorium. www.events.caltech.edu

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  • JIGU Thunder Drums of China. Copyright © 2007.


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Monday, 23-Apr-2007 14:19:20 PDT