works that celebrate the Japanese language, culture, and history
dance that is culturally inspired, physically complex, and intellectually stimulating
unique cross-cultural productions and experiences on stage
bonds that strengthen arts communities workshops, residencies, and discussions
Founded in 2014, Kizuna Dance is an international repertory ensemble that blends streetdance with contemporary floorwork to create dances that celebrate the Japanese culture. With over 14 years of Japanese language study, Artistic Director Cameron McKinney focuses each work around an aspect of the Japanese culture. His work has been recognized through a Choreographic Fellowship from the Alvin Ailey Foundation, an Individual Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council, support from the Rader Foundation for Young Artists, and through commissions from numerous institutions across the country and abroad.
The company has performed nationally and internationally at prestigious institutions and festivals such as The Japan Society, Performatica, the Let's Dance International Frontiers Festival, Gibney Dance, and Movement Research, among many others. 2018 was the company’s most prominent year yet, and included performances in Vermont, California, New York, Washington, Tennessee, and the United Kingdom. In July 2019, the company had its French premier at the International Choreographic Festival of Blois on the National Stage, "La Halle aux Grains" in Blois, France.
Committed to outreach, the company engages with every tour location it enters, connecting with community members through post-show discussions, lecture demonstrations, open rehearsals, masterclasses, student performances, and professional workshops. Last season, the company engaged in educational performances, multi-day residencies, and public workshops in New York, Vermont, California, Ohio, Washington, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and the United Kingdom. Kizuna Dance has lead workshops and residencies in fifteen states and internationally in Japan, Mexico, France and the UK.
The 2019 season also features the launch of Kizuna Dance's Culture Commissions Initiative. The goal of this new initiative is twofold: to engage emerging choreographers in a research-based creative process around the Japanese culture, and to build bridges between Japanese and American artists by inviting a Japanese choreographer to create a work on Kizuna Dance in New York City. The first inaugural awardee, LajaMartin (Laja Field and Martin Durov), will have their work join Kizuna Dance repertory in a brand-new, evening-length experience at Middlebury College in Summer 2020, in celebration of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and United States-Japan relations. This commission provides Kizuna Dance with a unique and elevated platform from which to continue to build bridges between American and Japanese artists and audiences.