NonSeq: Arugakki

Big drums, choreography, synthesizers, and an abacus shaker… Arugakki is groundbreaking taiko. The inventive duo from Los Angeles Arts District debuts new music alongside local artists, Karin Stevens (dance), Heather Bentley (viola), and Leanna Keith (flute).

Nguyen’s dance and Bergstrom’s taiko collided at a choreography residency in 2019, exchanging fresh perspectives on movement and rhythm. The inspiration fueled a North American composition tour and a 9-month residency in a covid-shuttered theater resulting in Harbor, the duo’s first stage production, acclaimed for its heart-wrenching melodies, pulsating electronics, and quirky, home-made instruments.

Tonight’s performance features the world premier of Feel Me for taiko and crotales, Distracted Driving for slant taiko, Continuum synthesizer, and electronics, and the Seattle premier of Prairie for flute, snare, and electronics.

Curated by Leanna Keith for Nonsequitur’s NonSeq series.