- Yamato (Masa Ogawa)
A weekend of semi-gorgeous fall weather and raking leaves deserves nightly breaks. Whether you have the blues or an obsession with massive drums, here are some weekend picks.
The Yamato drummers are far from a road-side cafe, though that's what the name often reminds people of. The Japanese taiko drum group stops in D.C. this weekend, with gorgeous giant drums made from animal skin and 400-year-old trees, some weighing up to a ton, and a new two-act program, Gamushara, which translates into "the beat of courage," says Danielle Mouledoux, the marketing manager at GW's Lisner Auditorium.
In essence, the stunning performance relays the message of "not thinking about the consequences and seizing the moment," she says.
In contrast, the performers train vigorously for their tours, starting days off with 10km runs and weights, with rehearsals running into the night. "It's not like a traditional symphonic performance," she says. The performances require a great deal of stamina, similar to dance — add in a few drums.
Yamato's artistic director Masa Ogawa choreographs the performances as a connection of the drum beats with the energy in the room. "The opening of the program has these poems...to be absorbed," Mouledoux says. The performers are relaying their energy to the audience, "and letting the audience accept that and bring that into their own lives."
Yamato performs at GW/Lisner Auditorium Sunday, Nov. 20. 7 p.m. $25, $35, $45.
• In Concert: Stew and Heidi at Studio Theatre with Jon Spurney. The acoustic set, which they talked with TBD about, features songs from Passing Strange, and ones that were cut from the play and never before heard, as well as older songs from The Negro Problem, and previews of Making It. 8:30 p.m. $35 general admission, $20 students.
• Festively Elegant Beaujolais Nouveau at the Washington Club, used as a temporary White House during the Coolidge administration. Party the evening away with fashion, live jazz, an open bar, and a dinner buffet. 7 p.m. $40.
• The Blues and Other Colors opening reception at DC Arts Center. Curated by multi-media artist Tim Davis, the assemblage of photographs and paintings, from color to emotional evocations, speak of The Blues, the musical genre that grew out of African-American communities at the end of the 1800's. 7 p.m.
• SULU DC's two-year anniversary show at Artisphere. Celebrating local Asian-American artists, the show hosted by Regie Cabico features beat-boxer Chip Han, hip-hop-soul-rock band J Pharoah & the Manhattan Project, the D.C. premiere of Wedding Night and other short films, and more. 6:30 p.m. $20.
• MidNights at harmon art lab. An artist talk with Alexandra Silverthorne, on MidNights, a series of photographs taken at night, when the world often seems blurry and memories dotted with lights and landscapes of a different space. The exhibit at harmon art lab coincides with Silverthorne's book launch, MidNights: photographs + writings.
• Ignite DC #8 at Town Danceboutique. If you had five minutes on stage, what would you say? At the 8th installment, the topics will include "You Are Not Alone," "Why Groups Make Horrible Decisions," "Everything I n/ever wanted to know about myself I learned from my genome," and others.
• The Ivy League Comedy Show with Shaun Eli Breidbart, Steve Hofstetter and Karen Bergreen at Riot Act comedy Theater. The show features professional stand-up comedians who went to Ivy League schools, only to disappoint their parents when they decided to take the less traveled path — quitting Wall Street to tell jokes. $22.