Reviews

Press Quotes

2016 Subject/Object(Direction/ Choreography/ Scenography/Performance) Check video

Baltimore City Paper, 5/24/2016
“Performance Artist Naoko Maeshiba Turns Inward” by Maura Callahan
What Weekly, 5/19/2016
“Strange Beauty: A Conversation on Theatre with Naoko Maeshiba” by Peter Davis

Dream Island 2015 Dream Island(Direction/ Choreography/ Scenography)

Baltimore City Paper blog, 5/29/2015
“The immense sensory odyssey of 'Dream Island' at Baltimore Theatre Project” by Maura Callahan
TheatreBloom, 5/22/2015
“Dream Island at Baltimore Theatre Project” by Paul Davis
Bmoreart, 5/30/2015
“What did I learn at Dream Island” by John Barry
Twilight Station

photo by Zachary Z. Handler,
Questfest 2014

2014 Twilight Station(Directon/ Choreography/ Scenography) Check video

Review: MD Theatre Guide, 3/05/2014
“Theatre Review: ‘Twilight Station’ at Baltimore Theatre Project” by Sakiera Malone
Preview: bmore art, 2/26/2014
“The Aesthetics of an Epiphany: Naoko Maeshiba” by John Barry
Preview: What Weekly, 2/26/2014
“Conversations on theatre with Naoko Maeshiba” by Peter Davis

2014 Visit(Choreography/ Scenography/ Performance) Check video

Review: Kali TV, 1/14/2014
“Modern Moves Festival in DC” (2:38-4:28)
Preview: The Washington Post, 12/26/2013
“Modern Moves Festival to feature D.C. area's most established dance troupes” by Rebecca Ritzel

2013 Plasmic Patterns(Choreography/ Co-Scenography/ Performance)

Baltimore City Paper, 6/13/2013
“Preview: Plasmic Patterns at Theatre Project” by John Barry

2012 Kawatokawa (River/Skin)(Conception/ Choreography/ Costume, Sound & Object Design/ Performance) Check video

Kawatokawa (River/Skin)
The Baltimore Theatre Journal, 5/25/2012
“Autobio Maeshiba” by Guillaume

“Moving from one prop or boldly colored piece of clothing to another, Maeshiba skillfully expresses the passions proper to each stage of transition…Humor and pathos alternate as the life of the often-baffled protagonist unfolds.”

DC Theatre Scene, 5/24/2012
“Naoko Maeshiba, Dancing on the Edge of Theatre” — an interview with John Barry
Face of Another

2010 Face of Another(Direction/ Choreography/ Scenography/ Performance) Check video

The Washington Post, 4/5/2010
“Sharon Mansur and Naoko Maeshiba Perform at Dance Place” by Sarah Halzack

“‘Face of Another’shows how smart and thorough a choreographer Maeshiba is, as it has no linear narrative and yet somehow builds to a riveting climax. Through a collage of fluid gesture and intentionally unsteady hobbling, Maeshiba takes a journey to make sense of herself and her place in the world. It's the kind of work that is so well-paced and so carefully crafted that the audience can comfortably get lost in it, completely entranced by the strange world she has created.”

2009-2010 Paraffin(Direction/Choreography/Scenography/Performance)

ParaffinBaltimore Theatre Journal, 6/18/2010
“Japanese Enchantment”

“Naoko Maeshiba's Paraffin is a kinetic wonder. Returning to Theatre Project this weekend, Maeshiba's performance troupe Kibism mesmerizes the viewer with one mysterious tableau after another. Employing mime, aerial movement, and muscular choreography, the various scenes evoke search, love, oppression, and death… Far from narrative, the performance evokes the raw passions of fear and desire as the body is stretched to its physical and expressive limits…”

Rader Redyx, 6/16/2010
“Strange Beauty: Naoko Maeshiba Talks About Paraffin, Kibism, and the Undefinable” — an interview with Rader Redyx by John Barry
The Washington Post, 4/5/2010
“Sharon Mansur and Naoko Maeshiba Perform at Dance Place” by Sarah Halzack

“…existing in dreamscapes that managed to be strikingly beautiful yet somewhat disturbing. In ‘Paraffin,’ a dancer was surrounded by technicians in lab coats, and through a lighting trick involving an overhead projector, it appeared that her body was being covered in scribbles and graffiti. This and other scenes left a powerful emotional imprint by exposing the consequences of forgetting or disregarding someone's humanity.”

Baltimore City Paper, 9/16/2009
“Best Dance Performance in Best of Baltimore 2009” by Bret McCabe

“If you don't usually do dance, Kibism's Paraffin reminds you what you've been missing. Choreographer Naoko Maeshiba's work is beautiful, vibrant, and interesting… Maeshiba's hypnotic, gravity defying choreography is both intense and emotionally engaging.”

2009 Scent of Sky (Co-Direction, Choreography/Scenography/Performance) Check video

DC Theatre Scene, 7/7/2009
“A Clash of Dark and Light, of Sound and Silence — an Exploration of Infinity” by Rosalind Lacy

Scent of Sky“In ‘Scent of Sky,’ dancer/choreographer Naoko Maeshiba and electronic-media artist, Alberto Gaitan explore a realm of sound and kinetic gesture where words are inadequate. Throughout this challenging piece, there are subtle and visual surprises. In dim light, Maeshiba’s face looks mummified, wrinkled and old. Tiny orbs of orange LEDs (light-emitting diodes) flash, like warning lights on airplane wing-tips, from under the dancer’s dark gown"…

"Her body is so flexible, boneless, and fluid it's as if her limbs are caught in underwater currents…through his laptop computer, Alberto Gaitan projects ‘white noise,’ a blur of black-and-white dots on the upstage backdrop accompanied by an irritating buzz. While Maeshiba dances against this projection, ‘Scent of Sky’ became more than mere experimentation; it became an exploration of infinity, of the unknown. White noise suddenly becomes an allegory for a spiritual search.”

2007 A Rose in the Wild(Choreography/Performance)

The Washington Post, 10/2/2007
“Pas de Deux With Reality: Performers Take to the Sidewalks” by Sarah Halzack

“Soloist Naoko Maeshiba dealt masterfully with some challenging interlopers. An energetic toddler, a hungry pigeon and a man on a scooter all whizzed through her performance space but never disrupted her spell. Also performing outside the library, Maeshiba capitalized on the proximity of her audience with minute wiggles of a single finger or toe. These movements would have been almost undetectable in a traditional theater setting…Maeshiba excelled at adapting to her environment.”

2006 Remains of Shadow(Direction/Choreography/Scenography/Sound & Costume Design/Performance)

The Washington Post, 7/25/2006
by Sarah Halzack

“Naoko Maeshiba presented ‘Remains of Shadow,’ a series of solos and duets exploring the choreographer's Japanese heritage, her American experiences, and how both have shaped her identity. Three transparent white panels and a large screen displaying text and image projections provided a backdrop to Maeshiba and partner Tatsuya Aoyagi's understated movement and haunting vocals. Maeshiba is an exceptional mover who possesses the rare ability to make awkward, inwardly rotated leg positions and fidgety gestures seem strangely beautiful. She and Aoyagi performed with compelling emotion-plausibly and poignantly conveying confusion, anguish, and displacement.”

Theatre Journal, 5/15/2006
Ko Festival of Performance (review) by Kermit Dunkelberg

“Remains of Shadow probed subtle regions of emotion and memory in the liminal spaces between cultures, countries, and histories…while technology enhanced the production, the virtuosity of performers Maeshiba and Aoyagi proved its centerpiece. Their bodies bear traces of rigorous physical training as well as everyday socialization across cultures.”

2006 Through the body deep into the soul — About the Mystery of Body

Interview with Dziennik Łódzki
by Rozmawiała Joanna Olczakówna (in Polish)

2004 The Voyage(Direction/Choreography/Scenography/Performance)

The Baltimore Sun, 6/10/2004
“Evocative Dance at Theatre Project” by Judy Wynn Rousuck

“With few words, no dialogue or plot and lots of highly evocative movement, Naoko Maeshiba Performance Collective's ‘The Voyage’ is more dance than theatre. But this Theatre Project presentation is also the type of work that deliberately defies categorization. The style might be described as surrealistic, and the subject matter appears to be nothing less than the voyage of life, with an emphasis on the stresses of relationships and change… Jason Sloan's music and Gabriel Walker's sound design contribute minimalist accompaniment that perfectly matches the spare nature of Maeshiba's choreography. The rare bits of text lend a Samuel Beckett-like aura to the work”…

“The final image is that of photos falling like leaves onto the stage. Gentler than some of the angst that precedes it, this image evokes memories, suggesting perhaps that life's journey is not in vain, but captured and preserved for future travellers.”

2002 Ballad of Yachiyo by Philip Kan Gotanda(Direction)

The Washington Post, 5/8/2002
“Tea and Tragedy in ‘Ballad of Yachiyo’” by Dolores Whiskeyman

“A frustrated man, his unhappy wife, a sympathetic girl. This is the standard formula for a love triangle, and in Tsunami Theatre Company's ‘Ballad of Yachiyo’, this all-too-familiar story is distinguished by its setting-Hawaii, 1919-and the ethnic origins of the principals-Japanese. But if the outcome to the story is obvious from the start, little else is predictable in Philip Kan Gotanda's lyrical, imagistic play, skilfully directed by Naoko Maeshiba.”…

“Maeshiba exploits the script's cinematic structure, moving the action fluidly from one short scene to the next and using, to generally good effect, original music and video images to set location or underscore particular moments…the result is a play that moves like the gentle stream that dominates the set… easing its way toward the white spray of the rapids downriver.”