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Not-so-quiet in the library

Bonnie Soon (left) and Jason Overy (right) practice traditional japanese drumming with a less traditional dancing and martial arts spin as members of Uzume Taiko. The dance and drum troupe will be visiting Sardis Library on Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Club wind-down.  - Submitted photo
Bonnie Soon (left) and Jason Overy (right) practice traditional japanese drumming with a less traditional dancing and martial arts spin as members of Uzume Taiko. The dance and drum troupe will be visiting Sardis Library on Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Club wind-down.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Bonnie Soon has a background in formal dance training and a childhood spent drumming along to 45s in the basement.

And while dancing and drumming are natural bedfellows, you’ve never seen them combine quite like this before.

Soon is one of two taiko drummers heading on a Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) tour this month as part of Uzume Taiko—a performance style that involves dancing, traditional Japanese drumming, and just a dash of martial arts.

It’s quite the show—and not at all what you’d expect to see in the library.

“I’m hoping people don’t need to do a lot of studying while we’re performing, because it’s infectious,” Soon says. “You can’t help but look up.”

It’s just one example that libraries are changing; the shushing librarian and no-talking zones are becoming stereotypes of the past.

And what better way to prove that than bringing two energetic dancers and a huge set of traditional drums into the stacks?

“I think we might be creating a little bit of a stir in the library,” Soon says with a wink. “It shakes things, it vibrates things! We usually dislodge birdies and things from gymnasium ceilings . . . so I wonder what we’ll dislodge from the library ceiling.

“I hope we don’t vibrate books off the shelves!”

 

• Uzume Taiko visited the Chilliwack Library this past Tuesday, and they’ll be dropping into the Sardis Library on Friday, Aug. 22, between 2 and 2:45 p.m. Their performance includes a few routines, as well as brief educational breaks where the performers talk about the history of the drums and the art form. Check out the summer program guide at www.fvrl.ca to see other Fraser Valley performance dates.

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