Reverberating beats

Taiwanese drums

Giving a thumping start to the Indian Institute of Technology’s festival Rendezvous 2013, the 2010 Grammy nominated Taiwanese group Ten Drum Percussion from Taiwan, unleashed a thundering act on October 18.

 As the first amongst the many international acts slated for the annual cultural festival, Ten Drum’s set the bar very high with their debut in India. 

Greeting in the traditional Indian style, the guest of honour, ambassador of Taiwan Chung Kwang Tien introduced the group, saying, “I can feel the energy and the enthusiasm of the youngsters in the fest. To add to the celebratory mood, we have brought the best group of Taiwan for you.” 

What followed thereafter was an amalgamation of thud of drums; the tinkling sound of xylophone; the mesmering flutes and an acrobatic-styled martial arts act divided into eight performances put one after another. Calling it a spell of magic would be an understatement. After every act, the performers sashayed in choreographically with their instruments, changing their positions swiftly. 

Ushering in a meditative mood, the first act began with slow rhythmic sounds inspired from the sound of five elements of nature. Chiming in the sound of xylophone intermittently with the drums, the act generated a calming effect- so calming that the youngsters in the gathering seemed hypnotised. 

Keeping their bodied taut, the artistes struck the drums with a sense of precision. Every single movement seemed thought-out, as if nothing short of sublime would do justice to their audience. Their flying gestures were accompanied with only an exclamatory vocal sound used sparingly during the act. The following seven acts were themed upon riding winds and breaking waves, signifying no fear for difficulties; gongs and drums for the auspicious lions; flying of feelings symbolising spring and more. 

Those who went in to witness a percussion group, came out feeling more than satiated as the act involved stunning dance forms, acrobatic movements and music weaved in a choreography accomplished with panache. Glued to their seats for over one and a half hour, the audience wafted in the realm of imagination where music dominated words as the means of communication. Even the intermittent silence seemed to have a significant space between the crests and troughs of the reverberating sounds in the hall. 

The troupe that left us all mesmerised had earlier performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the 2002 FIFA world cup in South Korea apart from its nomination for the ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’ for Grammy awards in 2010.

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