Michael Sakamoto and the Breaks: Remixing the Butoh/Hip-Hop Archive

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 4:00pm
704 Jefferson Building
129 E. Washington St.
Iowa City, IA 52242

The Department of American Studies cordially invites students, faculty, and friends to a Floating Friday lecture featuring Michael Sakamoto, Assistant Professor, Department of Dance (CLAS) at the University of Iowa.

In this performative lecture, interdisciplinary scholar-artist Michael Sakamoto examines the corporeal, choreographic, textual, and politico-historical influences and intricacies of his creative and intellectual practices. Rooting through the physical and spiritual record bins of his childhood to the present day, Sakamoto remixes himself into a hybrid expressive instrument to challenge fixed artistic identities and subcultural canons. 

Michael Sakamoto is an interdisciplinary artist active in dance, theatre, media, and photography and one of the leading butoh-based performers in the US. Dedicated to nurturing intercultural dialogue and cultural sustainability through performative and visual methodologies, Michael creates choreographic and narrative performances, media works, and photo essays designed to challenge audience assumptions and reveal diverse experiences across geography, language, and social boundaries. His works have been presented in 14 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, including at REDCAT, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dance Center of Columbia College, TACT/Fest Osaka, and UCLA Fowler Museum. He is currently touring "Flash," a butoh/hip-hop duet with acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris; "Soil," an intercultural dance theater trio with Southeast Asian dancers; and "blind spot," an intermedia solo performance exploring mass-mediated identity and corporate militarism. Michael is also writing a book, An Empty Room: Butoh Performance and the Social Body in Crisis, for Wesleyan University Press.

Co-sponsored by the Comparative Ethnic Studies Working Group and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies