Wear Me Into Spring

Wear Me Into Spring is a 30 minute long Program combining taiko and dance pieces that is strung together with dances set to the poem Remnants by William Leo Coakley.

It is presented as a Free to Stream video, filmed over the course of a single afternoon at MAAS Building. We encourage you to watch and tip your performers by the paypal link at the bottom of this page.

Wear Me Into Spring was also adapted for stage and presented as part of a live show with Cannonball Festival, September 23-25 2021 from 5:30-6:30 PM. The live show contained the main program of Wear Me Into Spring as well as more pieces exclusive to the live show.

Main Program (Video & Live)

  • Remnants Part I - Spring

  • Two Chaps

  • Duet

  • Hana Hachijo

  • Remnants Part II - Summer

  • Urban Legend

  • Utsu Hachijo

  • Remnants Part III - Winter

Live Show Exclusive

  • In The Air

  • Lion Chant

  • The Shades

    • Sleep

    • Passage

    • Remember

  • Omiyage

Remnants

William Leo Coakley

When I disappear,
you will find me in the charity shop
in my old clothes–
wear me into the spring
I knew would return forever.

In high summer, in the torrential rains,
toss them into the beech's cave of leaves
and feel the grooved initials,
remembering a different love–
or that love is possible.

When I am work out at last in winter,
lay me on the spent logs,
on the fiery remnants,
and I will keep you warm
for one more hour in the night.

Hachijo

About 200 miles south of Tokyo is the island of Hachijo-jima. Hachijo has a long history of local taiko performances and has inspired two separate kumi-daiko songs that have become popularized over the years in the taiko community.

Hana Hachijo

Arranged 22 years ago and made popular by Chieko Kojima of Kodo, Hana Hachijo is a rendition of the festival drumming from the summers. Hana is flower in Japanese, and this piece incorporates rhythms from Hachijo with dance-like movements that add beauty, grace, and color.

Utsu Hachijo

This song is a version of the arrangement popularized by Ondekoza. Utilizing rhythms found in festivals in Hachijo Island, Ondekoza created a rendition of the song for stage performance. This is one of the first taiko songs that popularized the kumidaiko art form globally.

Etude for 2

Choreographed by Jim May

Performed by Alex Pfister and Meggi Sweeny Smith

Debussy: Prelude No 2, Book 1: Voiles

Conversations

Wear Me Into Spring features a number of duets acting as conversations between performers. There are some set beats to get the duo from beginning to end, but each performance is unique; including improvisation and playing off of one another.

Two Chaps

Chappa (Japanese Percussive Cymbals)

and Tap Dance

Urban Legend

Taiko set and House Dance

Live Show Exclusives

Lion Chant

Lion Chant is an open source Taiko piece composed by Shoji Kameda. Lion Chant draws inspiration from a combination of interlocking kecak dance rhythms from Bali (Monkey Chant) with old Tokyo rhythms from Shishimai (Lion Dance). These are combined for an ensemble piece and interlaced with solos.

The Shades

Choreographed by Jim May, these dances are three solos based on Auguste Rodin's "The Three Shades" representing Sleep, Death, and Subconscious.

Dream
(Sleep)

Choreographed by Jim May
Performed by Meggi Sweeny Smith
Debussy: Valse
Romantique

Passage
(Death)

Choreographed by Jim May
Performed by Jim May
Sergey Rachmaninoff:
Prelude Op. 23, No. 1

Remember
(Subconscious)

Choreographed by Jim May
Performed by Alex Pfister
Ginastara:
Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2: II. Danza de la Moza Donoza

Omiyage

Omiyage refers to the traditional Japanese custom of gift-giving.

Written by Shoji Kameda as it was conceptualized and created by TAIKOPROJECT in 2004, this is a copy-left open-source taiko song. Like a gift, Omiyage is open to learn, practice and perform by any group, and it has found a home in the repertoire of many taiko groups globally. In the Casual Fifth version we perform features an added ending and inspiration from some of our favorite arrangements.

Cast

Mac Evans has been playing Taiko since 2005. He has performed and worked administratively with taiko groups from Maine to Boston to NYC. In addition to drumming for this show he is the de facto videographer, editor, stage manager, etc.

Alex Pfister

Alex Pfister is a modern dancer and taiko performer. She pursued dance semi-professionally in NYC, studying with Jim May, Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin, performing with the Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble and Kaoru Watanabe's Neo, and choreographing independent works.

Jim May has been a dancer on the New York scene for over 40 years, notably as a disciple of Anna Sokolow for 35 years and co-artistic director of her dance company since 1990. His performance career spans modern dance, ballet, and broadway, and his resume in choreographing and teaching is just as extensive. In 1999 he received the Bessie Award for lifetime achievement.

Jim May moved to Philadelphia in 2017

Meggi Sweeny Smith grew up in the midwest and has been in NYC since 2007 as dance soloist, student, and educator.

She likes to dance.

Photo credit: Karli Cadel

Maddie Hopfield (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and writer from Culver City, CA. She began collaborating with Alex and Mac in the winter of 2020.

Live Show

John Heward
Reluctant Pianist

David Yee
Musician

Peter Schwab
Supporting Musician

Yue Qiu
Taiko & Transitions

Nick Loh
Taiko & Transitions

The video performance is presented for free.

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