Sawagi Taiko

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Sawagi Taiko




Sawagi Taiko is the first all-women's taiko group in Canada, formed in 1990. In Sawagi Taiko, we pool our common and unique experiences as East Asian women living in Canada and focus our creative energy and ideas into a powerful expression that is always heard and can't be ignored. As a performing group, we're looking to smash hierarchies and create an environment where all our members can initiate and explore their artistic visions.

Sawagi Taiko continues the historical and cultural connections amongst different Asian cultures - the instrument originated in China; the artistic form originated in the rural communities of Japan. The members of the group are of Chinese and Japanese ancestry. We explore our different ancestral legacies in our art form and our pieces reflect our diverse experiences as East Asian Canadian women.

[edit] Reasons we play

The arts have always flourished in the immigrant Asian communities. However, these arts have been buried in the stereotypes of Asians as quiet and hardworking but basically mechanical and uncreative. Sawagi Taiko is our vehicle to show the power and creativity of Asian culture, particularly of Asian women. We offer an alternative to the stereotype of Asian women as quiet and demure. As well, the opportunity to work in a group composed only of Asian women is very empowering in North American society.

Working from a common cultural basis nurtures a mutually supportive environment in which all members' talents are easily facilitated. In Sawagi Taiko we are exploring a different way of working together artistically, trying to encourage and support each other's creative initiatives. The camaraderie and personal connections that we foster in the group translate into a group intimacy in performance that audiences notice and enjoy.

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