TAO: PHOENIX RISING Set for Orpheum Theater, 3/7

TAO: PHOENIX RISING Set for Orpheum Theater, 3/7

Omaha Performing Arts presents TAO: Phoenix Rising at the Orpheum Theater on Friday, March 7, at 8:00 p.m. The performance is part of Omaha Performing Arts' 13/14 Family Series. Tickets start at $20 and are available at TicketOmaha.com, 402.345.0606 or at the Ticket Omaha Office inside the Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St. Ticket Omaha is the official ticket outlet for the performance.

TAO: Phoenix Rising introduces audiences to the traditional art of Japanese drumming in a very modern way. Combining Taiko drumming and martial arts, TAO is an energetic performance starting from the first beat of the drum. In addition to drums of varying shapes and sizes, Phoenix Rising will feature other instruments including the Japanese harp, the koto, and the flute. Global fashion designer Junko Koshino created the costumes the performers wear.

Ikuo Fujitaka founded TAO in 1993. Fujitaka has jokingly said TAO stands for Taiko Action Orchestra. However, the Chinese character that spells its name gives it deeper meaning. In an interview with The West Australian newspaper he said: "Tao means road or way, but the meaning behind that is to be an expert at drums. To be an expert, I don't want the artist to forget traditional culture and customs, but customs are created or formed by changing customs all the time..."

It takes years of intensive study to become a performer in the group TAO. While some have been playing taiko drums for many years - one since elementary school, another since he was 5 years old - several performers bring nontraditional flair to the group by drawing on their diverse backgrounds: One as a hard rock musician, another a gymnast, another a composer.

TAO: Phoenix Rising is presented by Omaha Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St., Friday, March 7 at 8:00 p.m.. Tickets start at $20 and are available at TicketOmaha.com, 402.345.0606 or at the Ticket Omaha Office inside the Holland Center.

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