Experience the percussive intensity, the harmony of man and nature--the drummers of Kodo. "Kodo" literally means "Drum Child," and the name comes from the Japanese word "kodo," or heartbeat, the basic rhythm of human being... more »s. Based on the traditional taiko style of drumming from Sado Island, the members of Kodo have chosen their name to express the desire to beat the drum freely with no restraints, just like an innocent child. When they share this revelation with an audience through their stirring and powerful rhythms, the result is an experience like no other musical art form.« less
"As already mentioned above: there is less than 20 seconds of actual performance in this video. While learning about the drummers is fascinating, it is not what i paid 20 bucks for!! I am incensed at the misleading editorial on the DVD, which doesn't even *HINT* at the fact that this is a documentary, not a performance. I didn't get what I paid for. Unacceptable business practices: just shooting themselves in the foot. You don't buy a car only to find out there's a vcr in the dash with a guy telling you how the car *would have* run if it were real... in another language, no less. I might have purchased this DVD if I had known that it had no performance, but I feel cheated now."
Wonderful Documentary of Kodo -- Not A Concert Video
Brian Pound | La Mesa, CA USA | 06/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"True, the packaging and description should be clearer about the content, but the four star rating of my review reflects the quality of this video, not the packaging and advertizing. I downrated it one star only because it might not appeal to some people, though it is not only for taiko or even Kodo buffs. For taiko or Kodo fans, consider my rating 5 stars.Like Taikophile, when I ordered this DVD, I had hoped it would be a performance, but I was open-minded. I was already a big fan of Kodo, but this new DVD had a big impact on me. It is similar to a 1983 documentary called "Kodo -- The Heartbeat Drummers of Japan", but brings us up to the present. This is Kodo fifteen years later, a group that has evolved and grown.It has a good balance of personal stories, performance clips, Earth Celebration preparation, apprenticeship trials, the development of a new composition, and an overview of the group, their philosophy and their community on Sado island. Perhaps the main theme of this video is the challenges of being an individual in a group, very appropriate for Japanese, and something I think all Japanese viewers of the original TV broadcast could relate to.Special segments include short profiles of Ryutaro Kaneko, Chieko Kojima, Yoshikazu and Yoko Fujimoto, staff member Atsushi Sugano, and Tetsuro Naito. A kind of climax is when guests from Taos, New Mexico, called the Red Arrow Dancers visit Sado Island and perform with Kodo for Earth Celebration 1998. The two groups develop strong relationships that draw tears when they have to part.I have shown this video to two non-Kodo fans so far. Both were intrigued by what they saw and developed a respect for Kodo. They have both asked to see more of them.Personally, the more I know about Kodo, the more I'm impressed with them. It has gone way past enjoying their music or respecting their talents. I love their lifestyle, philosophy, beliefs, and personalities. What great people! This video captures what makes Kodo so special. It has refined, at least a little, how I look at performing music, relating to people, and cultivating my love of drumming."
BEWARE: this DVD contains almost no drumming.
Moulin Mauve | Berkeley, CA USA | 06/09/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw the cover of this DVD and read the Editorial Review here on amazon.com I immediately pre-ordered the disc. Big mistake. Incrediby, there's almost no drumming on this DVD. It's an amateurish documentary produced by a regional (Niigata) Japanese TV station that offers nothing more than disjointed behind-the-scenes glimpses of the group's "One Earth Tour." The deceptive packaging is a disservice to both the group Kodo and its fans."
Interesting documentary...but not a keeper
Moses Alexander | Alabama, USA | 06/17/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Just like the previous reviewer I bought this DVD predicated upon several factors: 1) my love for Kodo's masterful drumming 2) my desire for "Live from the Acropolis" to be released on DVD (lamentably only available in VHS) 3) the editorial review also gave the impression that this was a concert DVD. This is a documentary made for Japanese TV, and it is really lacking in places. The translations to English are quite awkward in places, and sometimes they are hard to keep up with (in one particular spot the translations kept bouncing back from the bottom and top of the screen depending upon who was talking...it was almost impossible to process the rapid fire assault of info...one time the translations were on top & bottom simultaneously!) The documentary was quite interesting but didn't show even one whole drumming piece (kind of against the point of a KODO DVD you might say.) I do have to give the documentary makers credit for thoroughly covering the subject. They did in dept interviews with everyone from the 'superstars' of the group to understudies who have never taken the stage to teachers/instructors...as well as interviewing both male & female members. This is worth watching once, but that's about it. Definately for completist KODO collectors only!"
A good look behind the scenes and into the heart of Kodo!
Adam Weiner | San Jose, CA USA | 06/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is very little actual performance footage in this DVD. There are only the briefest of clips of actual songs. This is for fans of Kodo and/or those who want to see more into the world of these awesome artists. Kodo is much more than just what they put on stage; this is a documentary about a powerful group of people who show their passion with every heartbeat. This DVD shows the viewer about the world of Kodo that most would never get to see. There are scenes about the collaboration between Kodo and a Native American troupe that brings out the best in both groups. We are shown a glimpse of what practices are like and the critique process. There are scenes of backstage preparations and pre-show scheduling. They interview a few key members, such as Chieko Kojima, Eiichi Sato, Ryutaro Kaneko, and Tetsuro Naito. Other members are interviewed, including an apprentice who is unsure if she'll make it in or not (and I'm not about to tell!) There is some real emotion shown here by Kodo members in words and tears. Most of us will never get to see more than the performance side of Kodo, and that is truly a shame...and that makes this DVD very valuable to those who want to know more!"