Tao ****1/2

There’s something brilliantly primal and emotionally arousing about drumming.  Tao-Samurai Magical Drumming takes drumming to a high art form, mixing impassioned drumming of all sorts with choreography that is a welcome combination of wonder and cheekiness.

There is no story here.  No history of a culture, ideal or art practice.  If we feel any emotional connection to any of the players onstage it is based solely on their facial expressions: some are full of concentration and seriousness; others have a constant smirk that seems to challenge others to push just that bit more.

But it is all stirring.  How can one not get caught up in an hour of brilliantly executed rhythm that manages to pour out into the audience in a show-stopping finale?

With its colourful costumes, surprising musical styles and constant theatricality, Tao is a fully enjoyable experience well worth the admission price.  It may only be ‘about’ the rhythm, but sometimes that’s more than enough.

Playing at the Assembly Halls at 18.25 until August 31.

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