In Japanese there are at least 12 words for “courage,” and 6 for “patience.” The differences are nuanced and hard to translate into English, but it’s likely by the end of 2020 we’ll be acquainted with all of them.
You might think nothing’s been happening with Odaiko Sonora and Rhythm Industry. It’s true all of our gigs were canceled and we took a break from in-studio classes and practices for a couple months. However, we’ve been quite busy re-envisioning the future.
Taiko is, at its most basic, a large group of people exerting themselves and yelling… which is not advisable these days. We moved all instruction online through April and May as we assessed our situation and shored up our resources to survive the times ahead. On June 1, we returned to the studio in small groups, with strict safety protocols in place. We’re now adding sessions in a hybrid model of small in-person and online Zoom sessions. Although we miss our big in-person practices, online learning has allowed players to explore new avenues and depths in our discipline. We’re excited to think of bringing that to our audiences as soon as we’re able!
This year’s The Longest Day in support of the Alzheimers Association was one of our most ambitious. Holly created a plan to engage people throughout the month of June, with Facebook challenges, collaborative videos (see below) and more. And almost immediately after, Karen served as a facilitator for the massive, international conversation, Re-Imagining as a Taiko Community: Activism Anti-Racism Awareness.
Our work with TUSD’s Opening Minds Through the Arts continues online this fall. Nicole has created videos and interactive online curricula for hundreds of K-6 students. In our next email we’ll invite you to join Nicole in her classroom and experience what it’s like to learn taiko in elementary school! Check out her sample studio! Click on objects in the room to link to other content. Scroll down to learn Japanese terms for Parts of a Taiko.
Okage Sama De…
… translates, “I am what I am because of you.” Odaiko Sonora says okage sama de to all of you who jumped onboard our mid-March fundraiser. That money helped sustain us during the first few months of the pandemic, when class fees, dues, gigs, and residencies were all reduced severely. We are also grateful to the Community Investment Corporation, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition for support that will help see us through 2020.
Like all of you, we are discovering new depths to our resilience… and we will persevere! Odaiko Sonora is committed to being here to energize and entertain you as soon as we can gather once more. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and do your best to support the things you want to keep in the world.
Arigatōgozaimasu! ありがとう ございます