Mudra and Taiko started their relationship several years ago. What started as drummers creating mesmerizing beats for dancers, and dancers losing themselves in those beats, grew into forming a whole new taiko ensemble. Thomas Knight, the founder and creator, and Namita Khanna started their relationship when they would see each other performing at mutual cultural performances. Since Mudra’s vision includes bringing together dance and music from all around the world, they started collaborating. Then drumming and teaching with another troupe, Thomas and Namita met when Namita started choreographing dances to their drum pieces. From there, Thomas and Namita’s relationship only grew. Thomas began performing with Mudra’s performing group, to only spread that mutual joy of collaboration, celebrating diversity, and sharing dance and music with the world. From there, Thomas and Namita had a dream of starting an ensemble together, which they accomplished in 2015. Mudra Taiko Ensemble has a unique style that juxtaposes crisp moves, with an elegant grace that Thomas has perfected over the years.
Thomas Knight began his taiko journey in 1996 as a member of Denver Taiko. He was a core performer and teacher for 10 years before moving to San Francisco to learn from Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka. Thomas moved back to Colorado in 2007 and rejoined Denver Taiko and also began collaborating with Mudra Dance Studio, combining taiko with classical, folk, and contemporary Indian dance. This project fused taiko with drums and instruments from around the world, including India, Africa, Latin America, South and North America. In 2010, Thomas met taiko makers Jesse and Carla Maddox of Taikos.com and together they founded TaikoSociety in Colorado Springs Thomas was the Artistic Director and Instructor for both the performing group and the school. In 2016, Thomas began teaching classes to members of Mudra Dance Studio and from there, Mudra Taiko Ensemble was born. Mudra Taiko Ensemble is committed to honoring the traditions and history of taiko as well as honoring the spirit of our great pioneers by continually evolving and pushing boundaries.