Simultaneously raw and refined, the performance piece DADAN features only KODO’s young male performers. Simply meaning “drumming men” in Japanese, DADAN was designed by Tamasaburo Bando, and is unique among KODO performances in its absence of singing, dancing, flutes and female performers. Instead, this production uses taiko drums of all shapes and sizes, as well as other forms of percussion. This piece has continued to evolve on stage to this day, gaining new power and dynamism with each performance. The climax of DADAN features a succession of compelling solos. With each new drummer’s relentless and rhythmic pounding of the hirado o-daiko (big low drum),the reverberations build to soul-stirring heights. These solos then crescendo into a round of rousing ensemble pieces, completely immersing the audience in sound as they watch the taiko, and its musical possibilities, soar to new levels. One could say that this performance tests the limits of a player’s physical, technical, psychological and spiritual abilities, all at the same time.