In this two-week series, you will travel with the 4 Loco Ladies (“4LL”) through their varied experiences and approaches. The first four classes will each be led by a single loco lady, who will share her expertise with the primary focus of exploring your body. Every body is unique and all the different parts can be explored endlessly. Any single body part has the potential to be the starting impulse for movement, causing a chain of energy to flow through the rest of the body. This flow connects every single part along the way, resulting in physical movement. In this way, the 4 Loco Ladies believe that every single hit on the taiko drum can be seen as the sum of an infinite number of smaller movements.
On the tour through central Europe, you will discover through this “zoom in/zoom out” awareness approach the movements your body does, and can do, when you hit the taiko drum. You will start in Hamburg with Mel, getting to know your hands and feet as you work on awareness, strength, control, and coordination of the small muscles in these very important body parts. Then, you will fly to the south of Spain, where you meet Romina at the Mediterranean Sea, and will take the energy of the ocean and play with the power of its waves. The next stop is Italy, where Chiara will lead you inside your body through deep relaxation and visualization to discover the chain of transmission that links our feet to our head, our roots to our wings. Finally, after hitchhiking to Madrid, you will travel with Isabel from shapes to sensations (and vice versa) to widen your vocabulary of expression when playing taiko.
The fifth and final class will be a special treat: you will join all four Loco Ladies in their second in-person meeting as a group! In this class, you will put everything you have experienced during the first four classes together and apply it to the drums, incorporating choreography and body percussion along the way. You will learn a layered pattern, which has been composed specifically to focus on the topics shared by each instructor. As we play together, switching from one part to another, you will have the chance to let your attention drift from one focus to another, and in this way, discover how your body plays taiko. To finish this class, the ladies invite you to join them for a snack and drink, with a recipe shared from Chiara’s Khilibe Taiko Kitchen… because, no journey is complete without a party!
Takeaway Material for Participants:
1x Video from Mel: Routine for waking up the hands and feet (extended version)
1x Audio from Chiara: Guided relaxation (extended version)
1x Video from all 4 Loco Ladies: Pattern from Class 5 on drums and as body percussion
1x PDF from Chiara: Recipe for snack and drink from Khilibe’s Taiko Kitchen
Class 1: Taiko Anatomy (Mel)
Get to know your hands and feet as we work on awareness, strength, control and coordination of the small muscles of these very important body parts.
Class 2: Flow Like the Sea Hit like a Breaker (Romi)
Understand the opposites: connect to the subtle flow of your body energy to enrich the power of your stroke.
Class 3: Chains of Transmission (Chiara)
Go inside your body through deep relaxation and visualization to discover the chain of transmission that links our feet to our head, our roots to our wings.
Class 4: Move with Intention (Isa)
Taiko, with its powerful blend of music and movement, is an amazing playground to convey feelings. Travel from shapes to sensations and the other way round to widen your vocabulary of expression.
Class 5: Put It 4LL Together (Everyone)
Put it all together with a final class with all the 4LL!
A Personal Message from of the 4 Loco Ladies
Chiara: I truly believe taiko makes us better humans. The more you know yourself, the better you connect to yourself and to others. Playing taiko allows a deep connection and awareness of not just our bodies but who we are as humans – allowing us to work better with others, and also creating a continuous cycle that improves our playing as well as our human-ness
Romi: Taiko is a way to connect with each other but mostly to connect with the deepest part of ourselves. Taiko challenges us in many ways, not only technically, but also emotionally through the learning path. Taiko while grounded, gives us wings to fly if we dare to accept the challenge.
Isa: Our body and the way we move are unique. Our experience of life too. Let’s share this beautiful diversity through Taiko, an art with tradition and also creative possibilities yet to be developed.
Mel: If you know what you want, make it happen (and don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s not possible).
The 4LL Taiko Roadtrip will be a two-week intensive with four stops and a final destination:
Class 1: Monday 17.01- MEL Taiko Anatomy: hands & feet (Hamburg, Germany)
Class 2: Wednesday 19.01 – ROMI Flow like the Sea, Hit like a Breaker (Granada, Spain)
Class 3: Monday 24.01 – CHIARA Chains of Transmission: from deep relaxation to movement (Como, Italy)
Class 4: Wednesday 26.01 – ISA Move with Intention: express the way you want (Madrid, Spain)
Class 5: Sunday 30.01 – Put It 4LL together: It’s Party Time! (Mystery Location)
Class 1 to 4 are one hour in duration starting at:
11:00 AM PT (Los Angeles)
12:00 AM MT (Denver)
1:00 PM CT (Chicago)
2:00 PM ET (Toronto/New York)
7:00 PM (London)
8:00 PM (Berlin)
Class 5 is one hour in duration starting one hour earlier, at:
10:00 AM PT (Los Angeles)
11:00 AM MT (Denver)
12:00 PM CT (Chicago)
1:00 PM ET (Toronto/New York)
6:00 PM (London)
7:00 PM (Berlin)
What do I need?
- Some space to move your body, to sit, and to lie down
- Bachi and something to play on (drum, practice pad, cushion etc.)
- A tennis ball (or similar) for class 1
- Scarf (or long strip of material) for class 1 and class 2
- A yoga mat (or similar) for class 3. We will be laying down still for a while, so a blanket can be helpful if you get cold easily.
Important Logistical Notes
- Each live class is recorded with links shared to registrants for access
- Each live class includes an additional (an optional!) 30-minute community-building section
- Ideally, a space where you will comfortable experimenting your voice
The goal of this special kaDON Live Community series is to showcase players from around the taiko world and bring people together. Registration is on a pay what you feel is appropriate basis. If you are unsure, please feel free to contact us directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With these sessions, the Loco Ladies invite you to experience their approach to taiko, with a special focus on body awareness, imagination and a loco touch. “Keep it simple!”, “Get sh*t done!” and “Stay flexible!” are some of their mantras. So, sign up to join them on this 5-session trip around Europe!
4LL was born as a “48 hour Taiko Road Trip Challenge”, an idea from Romi under the message “No idea is too crazy. Dare to dream big and make those dreams come true!” That crazy idea involved the gathering of 4 taiko women from different parts of the world that had never played together, to discover layers of ourselves, explore our different ways in taiko and in life, push our limits and offer the world the experience of our trip. The goal was to learn the songs we had composed for each other, and be ready for a street performance within 48 hours. As the pandemic has shifted our plans, we have stayed flexible and continue to push our limits and support each other through the learning process. We stick by our original motivation and keep creating new ways to make things happen.