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Taiko-packed day coming to Vancouver, courtesy of Powell Street Festival

Sawagi Taiko
Sawagi Taiko shatters some common stereotypes about Asian women. Photo by Sawagi Taiko.

A celebration of taiko drumming will take place at three Vancouver sites on Saturday (February 18).

Organized by the Powell Street Festival, the fun will begin at noon. That’s when Sawagi Taiko will deliver a free public performance in the Woodward’s Atrium (111 West Hastings Street).

Formed in 1990, the all-women troupe bills itself as an alternative to stereotypical portraits of Asian females as quiet and demure.

“Sawagi Taiko is our vehicle to show the power and creativity of Asian culture, particularly of Asian women,” the group states on its website.

After witnessing their thunderous performance, taiko lovers can head over to the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema in the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (3d floor, 149 West Hastings Street) for a documentary at 1:30 p.m.

Co-directed by Dawn Mikkelson and Keri Pickett, Finding Her Beat reveals how an all-female taiko troupe comes together to practise this Japanese artform. For centuries, it was exclusively a male preserve.

Watch the trailer for Finding Her Beat.

After that will be a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the film’s executive producer, Jennifer Weir. She’ll be joined by SFU theatre production and design assistant professor Miwa Matreyek.

Tickets for the film screening are $10 to $15, plus fees, on a sliding scale.

Vancouver’s day of taiko will conclude with a free community talkback with Weir and the Vancouver Taiko Society. It will take place at KW Studios‘ Production Studio (Basement Level, 111 West Hastings Street) at 4 p.m.

Follow Pancouver editor Charlie Smith on Twitter @charliesmithvcr. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.