Shogun Court Promises Spellbinding Kalbarri Performance

Japanese drumming outfit Taiko On will set audience’s hearts racing at the Kalbarri Zest Festival Chamber of Rhetoric performance.

Japanese drumming outfit Taiko On will set audience’s hearts racing at the Kalbarri Zest Festival Chamber of Rhetoric performance.

The Kalbarri foreshore is set to transform into the court of a Japanese Shogun during the Kalbarri Zest Festival’s ‘Chamber of Rhetoric’ evening performance on Saturday September 19.

The beach will come alive with music, dance, puppetry and acting as the story of a Shogun unfolds under night skies at the mouth of the Murchison River.

Attendees can bring a gift to pay tribute to the Shogun and proceed from ‘Sally’s Tree’ on the Kalbarri foreshore park at 5.30pm, to Chinaman’s Beach for the free Chamber of Rhetoric performance.

As in previous festivals, the Chamber of Rhetoric will be held by a giant signal fire, lit to remember the Zuytdorp shipwreck that the Zest Festival commemorates, as well the Nhanda country where the shipwreck survivors found themselves stranded.

Kalbarri Zest Festival director Rebecca Millar said the performance was shaping up to be particularly spellbinding.

“This year we have created a court of a Japanese Shogun where everyone has been invited to pay tribute,” she said.

“We’ll have a community procession of objectschosen and created by the community to honour the shogun, which will converge at the mouth of the mighty Murchison River.”

“Here the audience will hold court with the powerful Shogun believed to be the direct descendant from heaven. The performance will tell the story of how the exchange of culture with Europeans and the appreciation of beautiful objects will test the Shogun’s most loyal court officials and change the destinies of two brothers.” 

The performance will also feature Japanese taiko drumming led by musician Simon Vanyai.

Mr Vanyai will conduct taiko drumming workshops for Kalbarri youth in the lead up to the festival, as well as a workshop for everyone on the Zest Festival weekend. Then, during the Saturday night Chamber performance, Mr Vanyai’s musical ensemble Taiko On will set the audience’s hearts racing with the sound of drumming.

This year’s Zest Festival focuses on the cultures of China and Japan in the fourth year of a five-year festival commemorating the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the Dutch East India merchant ship the Zuytdorp on the cliffs north of Kalbarri. It brings together food, art, history, dance, and performance in a two-day celebration of culture.

Zest Festival is funded by the Community Arts Network WA, Catalyst Community Arts Fund and sponsored by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Scheme, which is jointly funded by Royalties for Regions.

The Zest Festival is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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