Naoko Maeshiba

Naoko Maeshiba

MSAC Artist Profile

Founded in 2002, Naoko Maeshiba/Kibism has been creating and performing works that examine boundaries between disciplines, cultures, individual and society. The mission of Kibism is to offer a theatrical experience that taps onto different states of consciousness and opens multiple channels of communication. The body is the main medium for Kibism works. Examining body’s potentials as a place where the external and the internal stimuli encounter, as a vessel through which images germinate, as a landscape for memories and histories, Kibism works investigate the relationship between our bodies and the environments we live in. ‘Kibi’ in Japanese means ‘strange beauty’. It also means ‘delicate inner workings which might not appear on the surface.’

This idea forms the foundational aesthetics of our creation. Primal passion, vivid sensuality and refined physicality collide, harmonize, and synthesize, illuminating rich layers of abstracted narrative. Born in Kobe, Japan, Naoko Maeshiba comes from a diverse background in literature, linguistic anthropology and theatre. Maeshiba’s work to date has focused on revealing the unveiled state of the body through its contact with the immediate environment. She carefully conceives and prepares space in its sculptural, auditory, and visual dimensions for dance to visit the body. Her solo and ensemble works range from site-specific improvisation in collaboration with musicians and visual artists to tightly choreographed full-evening length pieces in theatre. They have been experienced in both traditional and non-traditional venues in the North America, Europe, and Japan.

In 2007, she presented a duet, “Absence”, at a remodeled old elementary school building, M25, in collaboration with a Polish electro-acoustic duo, Wlodzimierz Kiniorski and Dariusz Makaruk. (International New Media Festival: Moving Closer, in Warsaw, Poland). Through Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project, she created “Trace” (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, DC, 2004) with the focus on ‘displacement’ as its central theme. “Scent of Sky” with a sound artist, Alberto Gaitan tapped onto the infinity of the unknown in science/technology, using computer-generated sound bites, falling ping pong balls, and time-based video image slowly unfolding onto her body (Source Festival, Washington DC). Her twelve-performer ensemble piece “Paraffin” treated the theme of ‘loss of identity through socialization’ and received Best Dance Performance Award from City Paper’s “Best of Baltimore” 2009.

Most recently, she created “Twilight Station” with an ensemble of hearing and non-hearing performers (Questfest, Washington, DC), collaborated with a musician/sound artist Andy Hayleck in a full-evening length “Plasmic Patterns” (Baltimore Theatre Project) and “Apertures” (Tank, New York).

Complimentary Activities:

Body Wisdom: Discovering the Inner Landscape

This workshop offers a place of inquiry for investigating the depth of the body. Focusing on the body’s expression through its contact with the immediate environment, each exercise is designed to awaken the inner sense of self and develop an awareness of external visual/auditory/kinetic stimuli. Working both indoors and outdoors in nature, participants will tap into the primal essence underlying the surface and examine the relationship between body and various environments. Participants will work in solo, pairs, or an ensemble.

The workshop will culminate in a final presentation. Fees for these programs range begin at $500.

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