NAOKO MAESHIBA: A Total Artist Dancing on the edge of Theatre
Originally from Kobe, Japan, NAOKO MAESHIBA performs, choreographs, directs, designs, and teaches, all from the body’s point of view. Growing up in rural Japan nurtured her sensitivity to and curiosity about the life cycles of living creatures and the atmosphere of places and people. This environment cultivated her perceptions and sensory awareness.
Her work is rooted in the minimalism of Japanese Noh theatre and post-modern Butoh dance as well as improvisation and surrealism, her work strives to awaken the unconscious and the invisible realm of human experience through the interplay of kinetic, auditory, and sculptural elements.
Maeshiba has been commissioned to create works by Quest International Visutal Theatre, DC Local Dance Commissioning Project, and Dance Place, DC. Maeshiba has received the Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from DC Commissions on Arts and Humanities, Board of Governor Baker award (2016), Ruby grant (2015), and “B” grant (2011) from Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. She was given individual artist award five times from Maryland State Arts Council in the area of solo dance performance, solo theatre performance, and choreography, and Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore in 'Best dance performance' and 'Best performance artist' categories.
Her works have been presented in both traditional and non-traditional venues in the North America, Europe, and Japan including John. F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts (DC), Hirshhorn Museum at Smithsonian Institute (DC), Theatre of Yugen Noh space (SF), Tank (NY), Joyce Soho (NY), Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst (MA), Baltimore Theatre Project (MD), Questfest (MD), Dialog of Four Cultures Festival (Lodz, Poland), International New Media Festival (Warsaw, Poland), International House of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan), Theatre Jo (Tabor, Czech Republic), Dance Hakushu (Hakushu, Japan), Dance Place (DC), Warehouse Gallery (DC) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC).
She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and the director of the interdisciplinary and experimental MFA in Theatre Arts program at Towson University.