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About Naoko

Baltimore City

Naoko Maeshiba's picture
I have been creating solo, duo, and ensemble performances in traditional and non-traditional venues since 1998. Body is my instrument and my medium. My approach is interdisciplinary in terms of the source, the process, and the form. The seed of creation germinates from various elements such as sound, light, a piece of text, a painting, a map, an object, a piece of clothing, and a scientific phenomenon. I build precisely structured short and full-length pieces from scratch as well as collaborate with... more

Naoko Maeshiba's portfolio

Kawatokawa (skin and river)

Conception, Direction, Choreography, Scenography, Performance

A humorous autobiographical dance theatre drawing from Maeshiba’s research about “space, body, and language” in Tokyo and Czech Republic.

When the wind crossed, my body cried like an octopus

Conception, Costume, Sound design, Performance

As a part of the artist residency at CESTA (Cultural Exchange Station in Tabor, Czech Republic), I focused on examining the relationship between space, time, and body. Immediately after two site-specific experimentations, I brought my body inside the theatre space to see how the body transmits the experience from the two sites into the indoor controlled space.


Conception, Direction, Choreography, Scenography, Performance

The piece explores a sense of loss through the visual/physical motifs of presence and absence. On the opaque white palette, the fluctuating state of absence gradually gets revealed in the color of yellow, red, and sky blue. This is the second collaboration with the Polish electro-acoustic duo, Kinior and Makaruk.


Conception, Direction, Choreography, Object design, Performance

Inspired by Victor Turner's concept of 'Communitas', the piece taps into the uncertainty of our beings through the issues that vex today's world, such as unbalanced resources, youth violence, and aging.

In the landscape of destruction, people wander about searching for a connection: with people, places, and the past. Through images of death and birth in nature, the piece illuminates the human figures which long for love, hope, and beauty, asking the ultimate question: "where are we going?"

May 2002 The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, DC, Tour - June 2002 Hirshhorn Museum at Smithsonian Institution, May 2003 Baltimore Theatre Project

The Voyage

Conception, Direction, Scenography, Performance

The piece consists of five stories about the voyage captured at the points of departures and arrivals. Intricate human relationships, our conflicted existence. The journey between life and death is vividly depicted through layers of images in the evocative visual poetry.

Scent of Sky

June 2009, @ Source Theatre, Mash-up series, Source Festival

Choreography, Performance

A solo multi-media piece about science/technology and body in collaboration with a sound artist, Alberto Gaitan.


"Trace" examines the state of displacement through the trace within oneâ??s body and mind as well as in the society. Six individual segments treat various states of collision such as the the nature vs. the technology, the disposable culture vs. the longing for the spirituality, and tradition vs. freedom. Trace is multi-disciplinary in its nature, combining movements with live voice and cello by Audrey Chen, the video images by Chas Marsh, and the animation by Jackie Milad and Dan Breen. Costume by Jenifer Alonzo, Lighting design by Cathy Eliot.

Conception, Direction, Scenography, Performance

Remains of Shadow

Loosely based on the doll exchange between America and Japan during WWI, this full-evening length piece follows the journey of Man and Woman whose lives get intertwined with a blue-eyed doll.

Conception, Direction, Choreography, Scenography, Sound design, Performance

Spring 2005 @ Ko Festival of Performance, Amherst, MA, Tour - 2006 Questfest, 2006 Capital Fringe Festval, 2007 Theatre of Yugen

Face of Another

Conception, Direction, Choreography, Scenography, Sound design, Costume

A sense of displacement and search for eternity in nothingness. Fluctuating on the boundary between reality and illusion, the familiar and the unknown, the past and the present, and life and death, the delicate balance tips and breaks into each other, revealing the origin of loneliness, desire, and fear in her body.


Conception, Direction, Choreography, Scenography, Sound design

A dance theatre that investigates the subliminal forces of formulas that affect our body and mind. Illuminating our fear and yearning for the hidden and the obscured, the piece interweaves multiple relationships of love, temptation, and struggle to reveal and discover identity. In the sensual and fiery landscape, body reveals an unspeakables and invisibles shedding light on the deep and dark places of our souls. Paraffin, an allegory about our precarious state of being, takes you through an exquisite and hypnotic landscape charged with intense physicality.

June 2009, 2010 @ Baltimore Theatre Project, Tour - Spring 2010 @Questfest, Washington DC, Winter 2010 Dance Place, Washington DC

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Naoko's Curated Collection

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