Watch this official clip from FINDING HER BEAT

Jesus Figueroa
(Info from press release)

In the dead of a Minnesota winter right before the world shut down for a global pandemic, Asian drumming divas from around the world met to perform, smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms.

 “Finding Her Beat” dives into the rhythms and struggles that lead to an electrifying historic performance that changes everything.

In the midst of a frozen Minnesota winter, a Japanese drum master and a Korean adoptee from North Dakota join forces to assemble the world’s greatest 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 as vulnerability, pain, and joys are shared—and we quickly see bonds of friendship form as these talented women navigate through differences in culture, age, language, and performance styles. As the clock ticks toward their first performance, it becomes clear that their story has become much larger than Taiko.

Through the perspective of the five main artists, “Finding Her Beat”   explores the themes of cultural and racial identity, the challenges professional marginalized gender artists face, the artists’ passion for a subculture designed to keep them on the outside, and the burgeoning hope that this historic event marks the beginning of a new era of Taiko – for everyone. Told both verbally and nonverbally, in silence and thundering percussion, the film organically unfolds in the lived moments of these artists. By providing a character-driven format, not only is the subject matter fresh to the majority of audiences, it creates a challenge and narrative tension for Japanese performers whose traditional culture stresses the importance of the separation between private and public lives. “Finding Her Beat”  artists opened their hearts, followed by a massive public performance – the last before COVID-19 changed the world of performing arts. This is an important story of women paving their own road by banging their own drum.

“Finding Her Beat” was made by a predominantly female/non-binary, largely Asian-American and LGBTQ+ filmmaking team and cast during a time when people of marginalized genders and people of color are severely underrepresented in film. It is well past the time to allow women to take center stage in the arts. For thousands of years women have been locked out of Taiko drumming. Not anymore, now thousands of groups perform throughout North America and worldwide.

“Finding Her Beat” is directed by Dawn Mikkelson (“Minnesota Mean,” “Risking Light,” “The Red Tail”) and Keri Pickett (“Ribbon Skirt Warriors,” “First Daughter and the Black Snake,” “The Fabulous Ice Age”)who  is also the director of photography; produced by Jennifer Weir (Executive Director of TaikoArts Midwest, Artistic Director of Enso Daiko) and  Dawn Mikkelson; additional cinematography by Shiho Fukada  (“Mosaic Street”), Caroline Mariko Stucky (“Caissa”),  and Dawn Mikkelson; with original music by Me-Lee Hay  (“Better Watch Out,” “Last Tree Standing”) and edited by  Dawn Mikkelson, Sam Kaiser (“Road to Damascus,” “Inside”), Keri Pickett , and Carrie Shanahan (“Irv de Toilette,” Goodbye Hello”).

To learn more please visit

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Accept !