Kazuyo Morita & Natsumi Sadayuki
When two hearts dance as one, any perceived imperfections disappear and exquisite movement leads the way to explore emotions and the secrets of our hearts. That’s what performances by acclaimed Japanese dancers Kazuyo Morita and Natsumi Sadayuki facilitate – an insight into the soul.
Born with spina bifida and scoliosis, Morita started acting when she was 18 years old. Venturing into dance, she enjoys thinking about the possibility of new expression while working as an actor and dancer with a prosthesis. She works with artists who specialise in various genres, exploring physics beyond disability. She won the Challenger prize (barrier-free category award) at the 11th edition of the Kitakyushu & Asia Whole Country Dance Concours.
Frequent collaborator Sadayuki started her immersion in inclusive dance as a teenager, and has been interested in dance as a form of non-verbal communication since then. A member of the physical theatre company GERO/AfroDanceGroove and an instructor, she studied contemporary dance at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.
Together, the duo often work with with acclaimed director Keisuke Kanai, and award-winning choreographer and costume designer Sonsheree Giles.
Trained in Noh theatre under a scholarship awarded by the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs in 1997, Kanai was the first Japanese student to study at Le Centre (National des Arts du Cirque) in France. After graduation, he joined the European tour of “CYRK13”, the circus show directed by Philippe Decouflé. Then he founded French contemporary circus company “OKIHAIKUDAN” with Sébastien Dault, and toured more than 35 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He returned to Japan in 2009, and since 2015, he has been the director of performance of SLOW MOVEMENT, a collective that seeks to promote inclusive art.
Giles, who is originally from New Orleans, was trained and received her MFA in performance and choreography at Mills College in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys conceptualising dances based on observations of animals, landscapes, art history and daily life experiences, and as an instructor, has taught contemporary dance in public schools, institutions, dance festivals and universities.
Giles is an experienced choreographer of inclusive performances, having collaborated with Lisa Bufano, an interdisciplinary artist with prosthetics, for years. She has received an Isadora Duncan Award for ensemble performance – for “To Color Me Different”, choreographed by Alex Ketley. In 2010, she was honoured to receive a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of integrated dance.