Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Intense Rhythmic Blitzes of Mayumana Unleashed in Green Bay

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Ta ticky ta ta, tick boom ta ticky bam bam bam.

Boom shh tocka tocka bam boom ticky ta ta sh-bam.

Clap clap thump pocka pocka clap clap thump thump whoosh.

Welcome to some of the sounds of the rhythmic outfit called Mayumana. Well, not really. How do you translate catchy rhythms to words? Ya gotta be there to hear them.

Plenty of rhythm and sounds and visual bursts and stuff to pound on, beat and ta ticky ticky tap with were set loose Monday night at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

The group Mayumana choreographed musicians/dancers put on a show called “Currents.”

Mayumana’s PR material contains foggy references to the origins of “Currents,” but it’s simply a title for the group’s array of ticky ta ta, tick boom ta ticky bam bam bam shows that it creates.

There is a reason that percussionists are set at the fringes of bands and ensembles. They’re kinda loopy. And you can catch what they have. Mayumana puts percussion’s catchiness front and center.

“Currents” is a sequence of rhythm patterns done up with digital video splashes flowing geometric patterns and cityscapes and Hubble telescopic images of outer outer outer space and the like unleashed by super disciplined and rehearsed performers who barely ever miss a beat while moving and dancing, including belly dancing. Whew. That’s a bundle.

The loopy percussionist creators dreamed up scenes all filled with ta ticky ta ta, tick boom ta ticky bam bam bam and the like for garbage bins, iridescent swim fins, a jar in water, five-gallon plastic buckets, wooden boxes, table tops, 55-gallon plastic barrels, tenor drums, plastic cups and body parts (for patting, dancing, and mouth wop-wopping and the like).

Everything is synchronized.

Eventually, the show has back-and-forth sequences with the audience. Clap hands in a pattern the audience repeats the sound. Back and forth through different sounds. Monday night’s audience got it, even as the difficulty increased. After listening to all the gushing geysers of rhythms… well, I told you what those loopy percussionists have is catching.

The performers bring their individuality to the show like the belly dancer, the guy who can toss off balletic moves, the women who can leap and flow like impressionistic dancers (or kick a foot over the head). Surprise move: A guy at center stage in the midst of an action-packed sequence suddenly bolting into a back flip.

This show gets super-techy in a sequence with a camera and a female performer who’s musically versatile. Bit by bit, a song is created before everyone’s eyes just her being recorded. Percussion, guitar, piano and voice elements are recorded by a male performer with a mobile camera, with each section saved and then transmitted, piece by piece, on screens at the rear of the stage. Finally, the “group” of one is seen and heard singing all the parts together with her singing, “I’m Not Afraid to Fall.” The song is rhythmic, of course.

Oh, those loopy percussionists, what wonders they’ve come up with in “Currents.”

Pre-show feature: As an add-on for this show, which has a youth-appeal factor, science guy Joe Schoenebeck from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay brought along fun physics stuff. Youngsters (and adults) played with/learned from gadgets like an “airzooka” that makes leaves on a tree move 30 feet away with a simple release of air.

***

Creative: Creators/artistic directors Geri Berman, Boaz Berman; music Ido Kagan, Eylon Nuphar, Boaz Berman; lighting designer Roy “Junior” Milo; sound designers Elad Berliner, Amir Schorr; set and prop designers Boaz Berman, Roy “Junior” Milo; costume designer Sharona Sharvit; video art Visual Data VJ’s

Cast (eight performed):

Rotem Rachel Hirsh

Tal Levy

Omer Lavi

Saggie Gorfung

Adi Shalev

Ido Stadler

Sylvie Planche

Itamar Dari

Tayla Jade-Bedser

May Alfi

Running time: 70 minutes

***

Pre-show feature: As an add-on for this show, which has a youth-appeal factor, science guy Joe Schoenebeck from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay brought along fun physics stuff. Youngsters (and adults) played with/learned from like an “airzooka” that make leaves on a tree move 30 feet away with a simple release of air.

THE VENUE: Cofrin Family Hall is one of three performance spaces within the Edward W. Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. At its maximum capacity setup, the hall seats 2,021 over its three levels of maple-and-burgundy seats. Opened Jan. 15, 1993, the hall was built to adapt to the needs of orchestra concerts, operas, musicals, plays and organ, band and choral concerts. For acoustical properties, wood is emphasized on the seats, mezzanine and balcony surfaces and walls near the stage. Many surfaces are curved to help shape the sound. Wood is featured for an aesthetic reason, too a “from here” aura of woodsy Northeastern Wisconsin.

THE PEOPLE: The name Cofrin relates in great degree to A.E. Cofrin, founder of Fort Howard Paper Co., and his son, Dr. David A. Cofrin, who was instrumental in building the Weidner Center through multi-million-dollar donations. A friendship developed between David A. Cofrin (1921-2009) and Edward W. Weidner (1921-2007), the beloved founding chancellor of UWGB. Weidner spoke slowly and carried a big idea. Weidner arrived when there were no buildings on the present-day campus on rolling hills near the shore of Green Bay. His interests ranged from academia to birding to sports. He loved building projects. It was in his blood. He guided the building of the Weidner Center, so named from early on in construction. Weidner admitted his eyes welled once when driving to a performance and seeing a green sign along the highway: WEIDNER CENTER.

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My latest book, “I Fell Out of a Tree in Fresno (and other writing adventures),” is available in Green Bay at Neville Public Museum and Bosse’s.

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