Japanese taiko drummers perform at Withrow

Withrow Elementary hosted a performance of three Japanese taiko drummers from the Mu Performing Arts last Friday.

This specially designed educational program exposes students to taiko while establishing basic historical and cultural background for the art form. Through performance and reflection, Mu Daiko members build an understanding of the impact of taiko in the United States. Students practice simple taiko rhythms using kuchi shoka the traditional vocal learning technique.

The performance was provided through donations from Withrow Elementary’s paraprofessionals and the WEA. It took place in the Withrow cafeteria for the entire student body. Parents and other community members were also invited to attend.

The Mu Performing Arts was first founded in 1992 as Theater Mu, a theater company dedicated to bringing Asian-American voices to the stage in the Twin Cities at a time when Asian-American theater did not exist in the area and the Asian-American community was rarely recognized. After forming Mu Daiko, a taiko-drumming ensemble, the company re-branded itself as Mu Performing Arts, reflecting our broad artistic base of theater, taiko, and artist development.

Mu Performing Arts remains Minnesota’s only pan-Asian performing arts organization, and has grown into the second largest Asian-American performing arts company in the United States.