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 use dance as a medium to connect the American and Japanese cultures. With over 18 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 U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artist Fellowship, a Choreographic Fellowship from The School at Jacob's Pillow, a Hearst Choreography Fellowship from Princeton University, a Choreographic Fellowship from the Alvin Ailey Foundation, an Individual Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council, support from the New York City Artists Corps and 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 Middlebury College's Japanese Language School, among many others. In February 2020, Artistic Director Cameron McKinney performed company repertory alongside a new collaborative work with Japanese choreographer Toru Shimazaki at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo, Japan. 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. Kizuna Dance has lead workshops and residencies in twenty states and internationally in Japan, Mexico, France and the UK. The company's OPEN INTENSIVE program has quickly become a staple of our offerings. The first annual intensive in 2021 created a safe and welcoming space for almost 100 students to train in contemporary floorwork for free in New York City, and the intensive has continued to provide this space to its NYC community each year.
During our past two seasons. the company has participated in a summer residency at Middlebury College's Japanese Summer Language School. During this residency, the entire company studio Japanese for four hours each day in a full language immersion environment. Before the pandemic, our 2019 season featured the launch of Kizuna Dance's Culture Commissions Initiative. The goal of this new initiative is to engage emerging choreographers in a research-based creative process around the Japanese culture. The first inaugural awardee, LajaMartin (Laja Field and Martin Durov), had their work KYOSHO premiere at Middlebury College in November 2020. The second awardee, Hannah Garner, had her work on the company premiere at The Dance Complex in Boston in March 2020. 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.