Taiko Meantime with Chieko Kojima: ‘Dojoji’ Japan/UK
Taiko Meantime with Chieko Kojima: ‘Dojoji’
A unique interpretation of the famous Japanese legend of Dojoji, melding dynamic Japanese Taiko drumming with expressive dance.
‘Dojoji’ is a confluence of ideas and a destiny, pre-determined it would seem, for Taiko Meantime and Chieko Kojima.
Studying Taiko drumming with Tennon Daikon and Kodu’s Katsuji Kondo near Dojoji Temple in Wakayama, Japan, and meeting by chance with Chieko Kojima in Osaka in 1993, Mark Alcock was unwittingly laying the groundwork for ‘Dojoji’.
Returning to the UK, Mark founded Taiko Meantime in London in 2001. Performing in their own right and collaborating alongside such virtuoso musicians as Guo Yue and progressive choreographers as Henri Oguike, they’ve gained a reputation for innovation with feet firmly placed in the traditions of Japan. Their shows have found acclaim in front of the most demanding audiences across the globe and Japan itself, while their outreach project in the WOMAD workshop tent has been a festival highlight for several years.
Meanwhile Chieko Kojima of Kodo, held in the highest regard in the world’s Taiko community, has in recent years vividly portrayed Dojoji’s tragic serpent, Kiyohime, through her unique feminine style of drumming and her highly energetic and expressive dance.
“Creating a ground-breaking production with Chieko driven by powerful of drums, beautiful dance and haunting melody was a given. But presented through the prism of the Dojoji legend – that wasn’t just a natural choice – it was irresistible”, enthuses Mark.
‘Dojoji’ is Taiko, but not as we know it. It’s pure theatre, as anyone who saw their ‘Dojoji’ tour in 2016 will attest.