Mina Nishimura: Princess Cabbage/Celery of Everything – Danspace Project
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Mina Nishimura: Princess Cabbage/Celery of Everything

Photo: Kota Yamazaki

Tokyo-born choreographer and performer Mina Nishimura presents two new works that emerged from research into Butoh scores. The biographical novel, Sickened Primadonna, by Butoh originator Tatsumi Hijikata, which often evokes images of the grotesque body, serves as inspiration for a new solo called Princess Cabbage. Nishimura playfully channels fantastical and bizarre images from Hijikata’s book into movements, vocals, and facial expressions. Hundreds of drawings accumulated during Nishimura’s creation process will be exhibited as a stage set.

A new quartet, Celery of Everything, performed by Nishimura with Sarah Lifson, Connor Voss, and Christopher Williams, explores the bidirectional relationship between internal landscapes and external forms through the use of images from butoh scores, abstract shapes, and irregular rhythm patterns. Multi-layered streams of movement and text flow in and out from individual internal realms, creating a colorful universe of imagery.

This evening features performers Sarah Lifson, Mina Nishimura, Connor Voss, and Christopher Williams
Music by Stephen Cooper
Costumes by Kota Yamazaki
Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann

Mina Nishimura was born and raised in Tokyo. She was introduced to butoh and improvisational dance through Kota Yamazaki’s teaching while studying at Merce Cunningham Studio where she has completed the international program in 2005. Nishimura has performed nationally and internationally with Kota Yamazaki, Neil Greenburg, David Gordon, DD Dorvillier, Yoshiko Chuma, RoseAnne Spradlin, Daria Fain, Trajal Harrel, Mårten Spångberg, Cori Olinghouse, Moriah Evans, Chantal Yzermans among others, and also has appeared in theater and film productions, such as Harry Partch’s Delusion of Fury (directed by John Jesurun) and Haruki Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (directed by Stephen Earnhart), as a body-based actress. After nearly one year residency in Senegal to assist a cultural exchange project, Nishimura started making her own work. Her works have been presented by Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival, DTW (currently NYLA), The Kitchen/Dance and Process, Danspace Project/Out of Space, Movement Research, Harlem Stage, Roulette, Whenever Wherever Festival (Tokyo), Bennington College and other NYC venues. Nishimura was the danceWeb scholar at Impuls Tanz (Vienna) in 2009, and also invited to DunaPart in Budapest through DTW’s Suitcase Fund in the same year. In 2013, Nishimura curated for Movement Research Spring Festival “Alternate/Shelter” along with three other fellow artists. She was in the AIR program at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2010-2011, at Chez Bushwick in 2013 and at Movement Research in 2013-2015. Nishimura has taught at Bennington College (Vermont) and Ferris University (Japan) as a guest faculty as well as at Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Movement Research/Sunday Process Lab and Moving Lab at Earthdance. Nishimura received BAX’s Summer Space grant this year to develop her new work Celery of Everything.

The creation of Celery of Everything was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project 2015-16 Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Jerome Foundation. The creation of Princess Cabbage was commissioned by and premiered at Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival. In addition, this evening has received support from Japan Foundation, New York’s JFNY Grant for Arts & Culture.

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