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Welcoming new opportunities in 2020

Kris Bergstrom workshop in February 2019

Welcoming the New Year

A new year has just begun, bringing with it new hopes and the feeling that anything is possible. At the start of a new year, many people will make resolutions or set new goals - perhaps to learn something new, spend more time with friends and family, or get into shape - the possibilities are nearly endless! Our performing members are continuing to challenge ourselves and each other, practicing technical compositions once thought to be too difficult, or learning to play new instruments.

Kris Bergstrom with performing membersAbove: Kris provided us with a wealth of new choreography ideas during his 2019 visit; we're excited to study with him again!

As a group, we have plans to make 2020 a memorable year, from bringing other artists to our studio to studying taiko abroad. Later this month, taiko artist and choreographer Kris Bergstrom will be returning to St. Louis for a full day of workshops focusing on the visual aspect of performance taiko. In April, we will be returning to the Missouri Botanical Garden for the popular annual Sake and Sakura celebration. And later in the year, some of our members will be traveling to Japan to study with hundreds of taiko players at the World Taiko Conference in Tokyo. We're so excited for these opportunities to build our skills and deepen our connections with the taiko community around the world and we look forward to sharing our experiences with everyone!

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Classes Begin January 12!

Our winter Adult All-Levels classes are about to begin and there's still time to register! The 10-week class is open to anyone age 16 and older, and no background in music or taiko is required.

Not only is playing taiko a lot of fun, it's also a great form of exercise! It also helps to improve self-awareness, rhythm and concentration, and it can be a great way to relieve stress. Participants who are new to taiko will learn the basics of sticking, kata (form), movement, popular rhythms found it taiko, plus some pieces you can play. More advanced players will learn to play different styles or stances, plus play other types of drums like our large odaiko.

Adult All-Levels Class
Sundays, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
January 12 - March 22, 2020
*No class February 23 for WorldFest performance


Seasonal Celebrations: Shogatsu

Japanese New Year

The New Year might be the most popular holiday in Japan; in fact, the festival lasts for the first three days of the month and people observe customs that date back hundreds of years.

Families will take the last few days of the year to clean up their entire house in order to start the new year with a fresh mind. As the new year draws closer, people will place decorations containing bamboo and pine - representing longevity - at the entrances to their homes and businesses. Kagamimochi, displays of two pounded rice cakes topped with a mandarin symbolizing prosperity are often displayed on the first day of the new year.

Throughout the holiday, many will eat traditional New Year foods called osechi ryori. Special dishes are carefully prepared, each dish symbolizing a New Year sentiment like peace, happiness, good fortune, or good health and long life. 

It's also common to send New Year's greeting cards, called nengajo, to thank friends, family members, and colleagues for their kindness or to stay in touch with people they haven't seen for awhile. Even in the digital age, this centuries-old custom remains one of the most popular New Year's traditions, with about two billion cards delivered each year in Japan. The Japan Post even holds an annual nengajo lottery: cards are printed with a numeric code, giving recipients the chance to win a variety of prizes.

 

Upcoming Performances

WorldFest 2020
Maryland Heights Community Center
Sunday, February 23, 2020
3:10 pm (approximate)
Free performance and demonstration
 
We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
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10734 Trenton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63132
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St. Louis Osuwa Taiko · 10734 Trenton Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63132 · USA

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