The journey of “Finding Her Beat” reveals a collective dedication for these Taiko drummers to be recognized in their field...they are trying to right a wrong, as women have not been allowed their place on the taiko stage. This film follows the journey of five women bringing the art form into the current reality and bringing other women center stage with them. Struggling through personality clashes, illness and the clock, we see how much one person can make a difference as Jennifer takes the dream and plants it, waters it and it flourishes into one of the most inspirational concerts ever witnessed, let alone filmed.
“Finding Her Beat”
In the midst of a frozen Minnesota winter, a Japanese drum master and Korean adoptee from North Dakota join forces to assemble the world’s best Taiko drummers in a bold effort to claim a cultural spotlight that has historically been reserved only for men. Their rhythm revolution includes rock stars from the world of Taiko: Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Kaoly Asano, Chieko Kojima, Megan Chao-Smith, and Jennifer Weir. Through grueling rehearsals, Jennifer weaves together their disparate voices and styles. Vulnerability, pain, and joys are shared—and we quickly see the bonds of friendship form as these talented women navigate their way through differences in culture, age, language, and performing styles. As the clock ticks toward their first performance, it becomes clear that their story has become much larger than Taiko.
Director: Dawn Mikkelson
Cinematographer: Keri Pickett
Producer: Jennifer Weir, Dawn Mikkelson
Co-cinematography by Shiho Fukada
Caroline Mariko Stucky, Dawn Mikkelson
Music: Me-Lee Hay
Editors: Dawn Mikkelson, Sam Kaiser, Keri Pickett and Carrie Shanahan