The beat of Yamato returns to the PAC stage

The potent and stirring drumming performance of Yamato is about to return to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC), and given previous performances it is bound to be a show not to miss.

Lauded as the most popular show in the history of the PAC, the Taiko drummers of Japan will revisit the stage with a brand-new and thrilling program called Matsuri-Fiesta!

Yamato performances center on the powerful sound of the Wadaiko drum as played by the Taiko drummers, but the excitement of the show does not end there: Yamato is a full theatrical experience with stunning acrobatics alongside silent acting with enthusiasm and humor, all as part of an entertaining celebration of Japanese culture.

Yamato has its origins in Yamato-no-kuni, the present-day Nara Prefecture in Japan, and was created by Masa Ogawa in 1993.

The troupe has its headquarters in the village Asuka in Nara, a community known for its many monuments and is held to be the birthplace of Japanese culture.

Having started as a single drumming act as part of a festival at the Toichi shrine in Nara, Yamato has grown to be an acclaimed Japanese performing ensemble with extensive touring and over 200 performances per year.

Proclaiming its motto, “Go anywhere if invited and make the world a little more happy,” the widespread touring of the group stands as part of their mission and their total dedication to their art.

The Taiko drummers are greatly concerned with sharing energy with their audiences, and they hold that energy is created when the resonating of the drums and the pulses of the people meet.

The energy of this encounter, they say, in turn gives them energy to continue on their artistic journey of expression. They continue touring in spite of the rigor of their schedule because meeting new people and sharing energy is part of the joy of their work.

Freshman Nick Stolar, who saw Yamato when they came to the PAC in 2007, said, “Yamato is an extremely powerful performance. The performers are very skilled, and they play with passion and know how to entertain the crowd. The drums they use are impressive not only because of the sound that they produce – you can feel the beat all through your body, as if the beat goes through your chest — but the size of the drums is also impressive.”

“I really liked the performance. It was a very full experience, and I definitely want to go see them again,” said senior Emily Mohr, who also saw Yamato in their 2007 performance at Mercyhurst.

The Yamato performance will take place Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 and 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the PAC box office or by calling extension 3000, and the cost is $15 per ticket with Mercyhurst student ID.