Word from Audiences or Artists
RIEKO KOTOKU gift as a performing artist is her ability to transport her audience through time and space into the ethereal world of Japanese spiritual mysticism. From the moment she enters the stage our journey begins; first with the sheer beauty of the kimono as it flows and follows her ancient storytelling movements. And then slowly she invites her audience to journey into the world of imagination and wonder through rhythmic beats of the Taiko drums, the melodic sounds of the multi- stringed Koto instrument and the haunting notes of Fue, a Japanese flute. We are in the company of a master storyteller; through her music and dance we are reminded that we are ONE with nature and nature is ONE with us. RIEKO KOTOKU brings us face to face to our spiritual connection with all living things. Nature is us and we are Nature. To commune with nature is to see the artistry of RIEKO KOTOKU.
Tatsuno Kusaba & Judith Ryan
When I saw Rieko's performance for the first time, I felt a very strong power in her movements and expressions. I thought I definitely want to perform with this person. I've performed with her several times now, and her movement to express the suppleness and softness of women including emotions is very beautiful. Besides that, she can express various aspects in a completely different and very comical style. She is not only a dancer but also a dynamic Japanese drum player, and the audience is fascinated by the way she plays powerfully and with delicate femininity. I'm attracted to her spirituality to pursue her pure sensibility and art. I think that she is an artist who will continue to be successful in many fields.
I saw Rieko perform Taiko, a form of Japanese drum playing, nearly 8 years ago. The powerful energy from the sound of her drum made my body and soul shake with excitement. It reminded me of the dynamism I experienced in one of the biggest festivals in my neighborhood back in Japan. Recently I reconnected with Rieko and saw her perform as a dancer. Her performance created a mysterious, tranquil atmosphere, something akin to a deep forest in Japan.
The contrast between the powerful taiko player and the elegant dancer were noticeable, yet I felt the same powerful energy from both. She reminded me of the sun breaking through the clouds. Whenever I see her performances, they reconnect me with memories of Japan: the smell and quiet of temple air, the peaceful sounds of birds, the excitement of festivals, and the laughter and shouting of men carrying huge portable shrines. Her evolution as a performance artist gives me the courage and inspiration to move forward as an artist. I very much look forward to seeing her evolve, and I hope that it will continue connecting me to the beauty of my home country again.
When I first saw Rieko's performance, I was very impressed, because there are not many performers who can express the beauty of the Japanese ethereal world. It was a very moving moment for me to experience such wonderful Japanese beauty here in the United States.
And as she opened the performance, I had the feeling of being led to another dimension. The venue became a scene of the spirituality she created, and I was invited into that dreamlike space. That dream is forever etched in my mind.
Chie Utsumi (Artist, Inner art coach & spiritualist)
Rieko is an amazing storyteller. Some tell their stories through words some with pictures. Rieko tells her stories through dance. Her interpretation of the story combines power and grace. The first time I saw her dance, I was mesmerized! Her interpretations combine her dance skills with amazing costumes. Her choreography captures the essence of the story perfectly. She also uses her talent at the Taiko to add another dimension to her performance. The heart pounding sound of the Taiko, the grace and power of her dance and the amazing costume makes for a performance you will never forget.
Rieko’s performance is mesmerizing. It connects us to the divine world. Through her performance we can experience celebrations of nature and all lives. Rieko is an amazing artist.