MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2017
Originally from Kobe, Japan, NAOKO MAESHIBA performs, choreographs, directs, designs, and teaches, all from the body's point of view. Her childhood in rural Japan brought her close to the life cycles of living creatures and the atrnosphere of places and people. This environment had a profound influence on her perceptions.
Maeshiba has been creating solo, duo, and ensemble performances in traditional and nontraditional venues since 1998. Rooted in the minimalism of traditional and contemporary Japanese theatre as well as improvisation and surrealist art, her work strives to awaken the
unconscious and the invisible realm of human beings through the interplay of kinetic, auditory, and sculptural elements. Her approach is interdisciplinary in the source, the process, and the form. The seed of creation germinates from various fragments such as a piece of text, a painting, a found object, a shaft of light, and a scientific phenomenon.
Maeshiba has received the Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from DC Commissions on Arts and Humanities, Board of Governor Baker Award (2016), Rubys Grant (2015), and "B" Grant (2011) from Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. She was given an Individual Artist Award six times from Maryland State Arts Council in the area of solo dance performance, solo theatre performance, and choreography.
Her works have been presented in both traditional and non-traditional venues in North America, Europe, and Japan including the John. F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts (DC), Hirshhom 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), performance space Celica (Ljubljana Slovenia), Theatre Jo (Tabor, Czech Republic), Dance Hakushu (Hakushu, Japan), Dance Place (DC), Warehouse Gallery (DC) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC).
Since 2009 she has been engaged in a somatic practice called Feldenkrais and integrating its holistic view with her artistic practice. She is the director of the interdisciplinary and experimental MFA in Theatre Arts at Towson University.