Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011



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A flag bearer for traditional Japanese culture, the performing arts group Kodo has toured the world for 30 years with its 900-pound drum and a polished act that suggests an Oriental Riverdance. The DVD in their two-disc set shows performers bearing flags—waving banners actually—as the group’s drum-and-dance division hold forth amid the verdant beauty of a rural Japanese countryside. But the audio and visual discs reveal a variety of music, including chamber pieces for bewitching vocalists and bowed string instruments along with their trademark pounding rhythms. Kodo will perform Feb. 21 at Chicago’s Symphony Center.