Monday, April 22, 2024

DrumatiX Puts the Spring in Springtime

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Maurice Hewitt.


DrumatiX performing at Seaport Village.

DrumatiX: You may not be familiar with their name, but if you’re out and about in the next month and looking for a good time for kids and adults of all ages, you will be. 

They’re an award-winning company of drumming dancers who are this year’s Performing Artists-in-Residenceat San Diego International Airport. And Noa Barankin, their founder, artistic director and choreographer, is an unusually creative personality.

“I am drawn to visually aesthetic setups,” she said, when we first met, in a phone-call. “We have props and equipment that we designed and built ourselves. As you'll see, the whole choreography is a design within itself. We create soundscapes using our bodies, feet, found items, and drums. And the whole set—including drums, crates, barrels, and a big bass drum—has to fit into my Nissan Rogue so I can take the show to different places.”

She also designed the DrumatiX costumes, logo and website, and invited my husband and me to one of their rehearsals.


In rehearsal: Noa Barankin, wearing a logo-themed T-shirt,
with the main part of a bucket drum

The rehearsal process was interesting, but we were really blown away on April 21st when we saw DrumatiX in performance at Seaport Village.  There were eight dancers onstage, not yet in the costumes they’ll be wearing at the airport. Seeing all the things they used as instrumentstrashcans includedI couldn’t believe Noa fit them into her car.

Five Drummers


Three Boomwhackers

The show was an hour-long delight, with audience interaction throughout. Among the instruments were colorful Boomwhackers, color-coded plastic tubes tuned to musical pitches which I’d never even heard of before, though many in the audience seemed to recognize them. After the show, Noa confessed she’d originally made her own versions out of 10-foot-long LED pipes after researching the wavelengths required, but they weren’t as colorful or as long-lasting, so she’d let them go.


Noa drumming onstage.

Here’s a brief introduction to Noa Barankin:

Originally from Israel, she lived in Boston for nine years before moving to San Diego in 2022. She started DrumatiX in Boston in 2017, creating an innovative blend of tap dance, body percussion and drumming, combined with found items and invented instruments; she chose Home Depot buckets for drums because their orange color popped onstage. DrumatiX is now a bi-coastal company, a welcome addition to San Diego’s arts scene.

Noa lives in North Park, which she calls “a vibrant, artistic and colorful neighborhood that inspires me every day.” Her husband is a data scientist, and they have three boys—8, 4, and 1 ½ years old.

She somehow finds time to teach for Arts Education Connection in schools around San Diego, but DrumatiX shows are her main activity this spring. “I like to keep my showpieces bite-size,” she said. “Short enough for everyone in the audience to stay involved.” 

Be prepared for some really good times with DrumatiX.  Here’s where you can find them:

DrumaztiX - Spring 2024 at the San Diego International Airport, in Terminal 2, Mondays and Fridays from April 29th- May 10th, 10 a.m.-noon, with pop-up performances throughout the Terminal offering opportunities to join in the show. 

Airport Residency sign at Seaport Village


Drumatix Rhythm Delivered at the San Diego International Fringe Festival at Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. Various times from May 17th-May 26th.  Check Fringe Festival site for schedule and tickets.

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has been writing about arts and lifestyles in San Diego County for over a dozen years. You can reach her at


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