Naoko Maeshiba

naoko maeshibaDancer, Choreographer, Director. Born in Kobe, Japan, Naoko Maeshiba comes from a background in literature, linguistic anthropology, dance, and theatre. Her 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.

In 2002, she founded a performance unit/lab, Kibism in order to pursue her inquiries about the depth of the body and examine various forms of perception. In 2006, she started investigating the expression of the solo body and experimenting the approaches and strategies for improvisational dance.

Her first solo project “Improbable Encounter” (2006, Klub Kaliska, Lodz, Poland) focused on the idea of ‘shedding’ in an intimate club setting with four sides of the stage surrounded by audience. It was a collaboration with an electro/acoustic duo, Kinior & Makaruk who played live. In “Face of Another” (2010, Dance Place), the physical space was transformed with multiple magic mirrors which blurred the boundary between the stage and the audience. “A Rose in the Wild” (2007, outside of Martin Luther King Jr. Library. International Improv. Festival, DC) and examined the effect of passing time on the physical state of the performer in a site-specific experiment and “When the Wind Crossed, My Body Cried like an Octopus” (2010, CESTA, Czech Republic) examined how the sensation of the body can be transmitted from one location to another. These investigations provide a way to re-learn how the body as a micro-cosmos perceives and captures the environment and how the movements are created as the body’s resonance with the larger universe.

Her solo and ensemble works have been experienced 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 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), Dance Hakushu (Hakushu, Japan), Dance Place (DC), Warehouse Gallery (DC) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC).

She has collaborated with Audrey Chen, Dariusz Makaruk, Andy Hayleck, Alberto Gaitan, Laure Drogoul, Lori Ohtani, Chas Marsh, and Sharon Mansur, and others.

Currently she is the MFA program director in Theatre Arts at Towson University. She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner.


Individual Artist Award in Solo Theatre Performance
Maryland State Arts Council, MD
Baker’s Artist Award
Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
Individual Artist Award in Solo Dance Performance
Maryland State Arts Council, MD
2004, 2006, 2010, 2011
Excellence in Sound Design Award
Metro DC Dance Award, Washington DC
Individual Artist Award in Choreography
Maryland State Arts Council, MD
Individual Artist Grant
Baltimore Office of Promotion & Arts
Local Dance Commissioning Project Award
Kennedy Center, Washington DC
Individual Artist Fellowship Grant
DC Commissions on the Arts and the Humanities & NEA
Allen Lee Hughs Fellowship (Directing/Artistic Directing)
Arena Stage, Washington DC
Burnett/Selleck Scholarship
Diamond Head Theater, HI