At UNIT SOUZOU, we have been reflecting on our work, and looking forward to an exciting year ahead as an emerging new artistic taiko ensemble.
Last fall, we did some deep soul searching on the “Camino de Santiago,” where we walked 400 kilometers from Leon, Spain to Finisterre, a place known as “the end of the world.” At times challenging, breathtaking, silent and adventurous, the journey was an opportunity to reflect, not only the tangible manifestation of our work, but also our artistic vision and practice, and how we want to be – with each other, with our community. Those ruminations have lead to some themes that we will focus on in 2016.
Deepening. As a new artistic force, we have developed our core of teaching and creating innovative expressions for the art form of taiko. We are thinking about how others experience our work and how we can become more accessible, more authentic, more connected. Through our education program within schools and taiko classes, and the performances we produce, we hope to deepen our mission to artistically push boundaries and to share taiko with our community.
Expanding. Portland is our center and our home. But as we look forward, we are beginning to expand our notion of what local means. We will explore more of our home state of Oregon, and further afield in our home region here in the Northwest. We’ll even reach beyond, heading east, heading south. We want to use our drums, our dance and our voice to find community across the US, in this our home country.
Contributing. We can’t do our work in a vacuum. We are part of a community. We will find ways to thoughtfully engage with our community and be intentional about where we can provide opportunities for new audiences to engage with taiko.
As these themes help us find inspiration in our own work, we hope we can inspire your adventure in this new year.