October 2, 2014

For more information call:
Shannon Freeby, Managing Director 651-789-1012


To download hi-resolution press photos click HERE

Taiko Drummers Revisit Community Roots with  Inside the Beat: Mu Daiko at Mixed Blood Theatre 

Longtime Mu Daiko artistic associate Jennifer Weir directs the celebrated Twin Cities taiko drumming ensemble in an intimate and immersive concert at Mixed Blood Theatre (November 13–16, 2014)

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) Mu Performing Arts today announced program details for Inside the Beat: Mu Daiko at Mixed Blood Theatre, which marks 18 heart-pounding years of Mu Daiko’s unique brand of taiko drumming.


“For me, taiko is a visceral experience. For our return to Mixed Blood Theatre’s intimate auditorium, we aim to place the audience literally ‘Inside the Beat’, surrounded by drums and completely immersed. We also have the special opportunity to collaborate with celebrated local director/choreographer Joe Chvala, resulting in the premiere of ‘Steppin’ Up’. Simply having Joe in the room expanded our vocabulary of how and why we move. We have been especially ambitious for this year’s concert, so we hope putting our audience this close to the action allows them to fully experience and share our passion for taiko.”

– Jennifer Weir (Director)


One weekend only, Inside the Beat features classic pieces from the Mu Daiko repertoire as well as an astounding six world premiere songs featuring the collaboration with Joe Chvala, mask work by local artist Masanari Kawahara, and a heartfelt tribute to Mu Daiko family members. An innovative approach to this classic Asian American art form, the combination of taiko rhythms, movement, and music in this year’s concert promises to be nothing less than groundbreaking. Taiko lovers of all ages are encouraged to get tickets early as seating is limited for this unique concert experience.


Jennifer Weir (Director) has been a member of Mu Daiko since its inception in 1997. Also a theater director and dramaturg with Mu Performing Arts, she has been a grant recipient from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, and the American Composer Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with NewMusicUSA.

Joe Chvala (Choreographer) has worked as a director, choreographer, writer, composer, performer, and teacher for opera companies, experimental theatres, concert dance venues, performing arts academies, and universities. After moving to the Twin Cities in 1990, he developed his company of percussive dancers, the Flying Foot Forum, which has been presented in a variety of venues around the world from Paris to New York City, Jacob’s Pillow to England. Mr. Chvala has received numerous choreographic and interdisciplinary fellowships and grants from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Dance Project, the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is the recipient of both Ivey and Sage Awards for dance and theater.

Mu Daiko performers: Jeff Ellsworth, Heather Jeche, Chiaki O’Brien, Susan Tanabe, Arlene Teraoka (intern), Michiko Todokoro Buchanan, Emma Valentine (intern), Cathie VanDanacker, Jennifer Weir. Also featuring Su-Yoon Ko (Mu Daiko alum), Sam Mistry (MTI: Mu Training Institute)

Mu Daiko was founded in early 1997 by Mu’s founding Artistic Director Rick Shiomi. Shiomi began his taiko career with Katari Taiko in Vancouver in the late 1970s, and has also studied and performed with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, New York’s Soh Daiko, and Wasabi Daiko of Toronto. His initial classes attracted students from both Mu actors and the general public, culminating in Mu Daiko’s first performance in August 1997 at the Lyn-Lake Festival. Mu Daiko presented its first full-length concert in October 1997.

Production team: Jennifer Weir (Director), Susan Tanabe (Assistant Director), Joe Chvala (Choreographer), Lisa M. Smith (Stage Manager), Tony Stoeri (Lighting Designer), Trevor Muller-Hegel (Scenic Designer), Forest Godfrey (Sound Designer), Masanari Kawahara (Mask Design), and Christine A. Richardson (Costume Designer).

Ticket information:

Mu Performing Arts presents

Inside the Beat: Mu Daiko at Mixed Blood Theatre

directed by Jennifer Weir

November 13–16, 2014

Mixed Blood Theatre
1501 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55454


$10 Students | $25 Adults | $15 Family Show (11/15 at 2pm)

Seating is General Admission

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 PM
Friday, November 14 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 15 at 2:00 PM (45 min. Family Show)
Saturday, November 15 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 PM

Tickets on sale now at or

by calling the Mu Box Office at 651-789-1012

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To download hi-resolution press photos click HERE