Japanese for "drum," taiko was essential to daily practices in ancient Japan. It was also versatile. Priests played the drums to ward off evil. Farmers expressed their gratitude for healthy harvests. Soldiers brought taiko with them into battle for courage. And, the mystical taiko relayed the people's prayers to heaven.
Mu Daiko keeps all of this in mind in "Taiko Blizzard." The drum/performance corps combines traditional percussive force with modern musical techniques, graceful martial arts stunts, tight choreography and a rich undercurrent of rhythm to create an emotive pulse.
Featuring the energetic Winnipeg drum-and-flute ensemble Fubuki Daiko, this annual performance -- driven by increasingly intense beats and a striking visual story -- is a real adrenaline rush.
Thru Dec.12, Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S. $17-$23. 340-1725.
'Angels for the Burning'
Award-winning poet David Mura isn't afraid to broach taboo subjects. In his latest poetry collection, "Angels for the Burning," Mura shares his convictions about the lasting impression of internment camps on Asian Americans. He explores the evolving psychological impact of this antilegacy by comparing and contrasting the lives of Japanese-American generations one through three.
Just as hopeful as it is tragic, Mura finds redemption through identity-shaping conflict and, of course, the act of writing about it. In these poems, he considers the visions of "others," including their alternate revelations of the collective "us."
Mura is also well known for his creative nonfiction, plays, critical reviews and performance art. In addition to racial incongruities, the renowned poet has written about his own craving for pornography and promiscuous behavior.
Friday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Free. 215-2575.