Fringe Festival 2020

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This piece is inspired by the summer festival drumming on Miyake islands in Japan. The movements are reminiscent of fishermen casting and pulling in nets.

Kodo popularized the song and playing style for stage performance, and is now played among many taiko groups in the US and Japan.

The Shades (WIP)

Choreographed by Jim May, these dances are part of a work in progress of three solos based on Auguste Rodin's "The Three Shades" representing Sleep, Death, and Subconscious. The third solo, based on Sleep, has yet to be produced

Passage (Death)

Choreographed by Jim May
Performed by Jim May
Music: Sergey Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op. 23, No. 1 as played by Vladimir Ashkenazy

Remember (Subconscious)

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

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 and interlaced with solos.


Mac Evans has been playing Taiko since 2005. He has performed and worked administratively with groups from Maine to Boston to NYC. In addition to drumming for this show he arranged the filming and editing of the program

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.

In her spare time, she works as a Neurologist.

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 and his momentum has not stopped.

Joe Small is a professional taiko drum artist, choreographer-composer, and Assistant Professor of Dance at Swarthmore College. Joe has been a member of pioneering taiko artist Eitetsu Hayashi's Japan-based ensemble, Fu-Un no Kai, since 2012, and has also performed extensively as part of the Sydney-based Taikoz, Prota (LA), and Taikoza (NYC).

Also known as her buddhist name Laiyo, Yoko Nakahashi is an award winning contemporary composer and taiko artist based in New York.

This performance is free, but please tip your performers! Consider donating so we can continue to create art.

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Casual Fifth is the joint part-time performance ensemble of Alex and Mac and the friends and mentors they've made along the way.