Carrianne Leung review of Crooked Lines (2017)
“I have been attending the Taiko troupe’s performances since its earliest incarnation in the 1990s. I have witnessed its members come and go and come, as the group shed skin again and again, born anew, ever reincarnating. Regardless of its various forms and members, I have always been humbled to witness their rage - a rage at its more vulnerable, most raw and most beautiful in their power.
What happens at a RAW Taiko performances? There is the simplicity of the act - a gesture of arm and hand and stick across the taunt skin of a barrel. A gentles caress at one moment and a thunderous power the next. To see women who look like me, share something of what I know deeply in my body, is a powerful experience, one that leaves me full and electric.
The drums take all of what the performers release and offer back language to articulate the joy, sorrow, rage, celebration, what is possible, what has not been but can be. In other words, the drums teak stories, awaken history; stir our lives from their uneasy places. The drums call us back to memory, memories that reach beyond us to face generations of women, ghosts that came before, invited by the drums to dance.
I am often in tears after a performance, overwhelmed emotions and an experience that haven’t yet founds words and can only be told through movement, beats, grace. The drums give. It’s a gift, and I leave in gratitude, walking out of a theatre, dispersed in a crowd, meeting the eyes of strangers with a strange new knowing."
Ways to find joy in moving your body - CBC Radio 1, March 24 2022 (RAW at minute 15:30)
These badass women are taking over the traditionally male-dominated art of taiko drumming - CBC Arts, December 14 2017
Embodying Empowerment: Raging Asian Women’s Toronto Taiko Festival - Sara Constant (TheWholeNote), August 9 2017
Twelve-woman collective rage with joy, embrace vulnerability - Julia Leconte (NOW Magazine), Dec 5 2013
Dance, storytelling and drumming cross over for a breathtaking experience - Samantha Edwards (NOW Magazine), Dec 9 2013
‘Water Warriors” recruited - Joe Chin (Mississauga News), Mar 9 2010
Asian collective drums up common bond - Scott Simmie (TheStar), Aug 15 2007