The premiere of Earth in Pain 2016 from the Gio Kusanagi Project.
Gio Kusanagi is the artistic director as well as the choreographer/dancer and his solo-dance will be accompanied by Helen Combers singing and piano. This evening-length-dance-theater will include Gios unique and wide range of dance vocabularies, based on American modern dance, jazz dance, ballet, martial arts, and Butoh dance (Japanese avant-garde dance), along with live music and responsive singing between Helen and Gio in the format of short musical-type-acting. The story includes the notion that the fundamental solution to the contemporary world problems is our retrieval of inner connectivity to the earth itself.
Audience members will be invited to share their concerns about the contemporary world through brief writing at the beginning of the show and their prayers will be incorporated into the performance as the focal point of intention. This is a socially-engaged-evening-long-theater with a brief, but an essential element of audience participation.
At Standard ToyKraft
722 Metropolitan Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211
About the Artists
Gio Kusanagi is an interpretive dancer/performance artist who is a native of Japan. He studied Butoh (Japanese avant-garde dance) with Moe Yamamoto, Toru Iwashita, Kunisuke Kamiryo, Yoshito Ohno (son of Kazuo Ohno), Yukio Waguri, Seisaku & Yuri, Ko Muroboshi, and Kayo Mikami; a Butoh-inspired interpretive dance with Akira Kasai; Japanese sword dance with Kensei Namiki; traditional style swordsmanship with Ken Morita; Ballet at various dance schools including Morgantown Dance Studio, Modern Dance with Bill Evans, Kista Tucker, Don Halquis, Angela Dennis, Kristina Isabella, and Pilobolous Dance Company; Jazz Dance with Liz Rossi; Contact Improvisation with Jordan Fuchs and Contact Improvisation groups in Philladelphia; Break Dance at Harajuku Dance Academy; Central Asian Dance, Persian Dance, and Middle Eastern Dance with Narah Bint Durr; West African Dance with Jonathan Burbank; and Eurythmy (a form of modern dance founded by Rudolf Steiner) with both Akira Kasai and with Jolanda Frischknecht. He was also trained in Mime, Laban Movements Analysis (Bill Evans and Kista Tucker), Bartenieff Fundamental (Bill Evans and Don Halquis), Alexander Technique (Suzanne Oliiver), Qigong, Tai Chi, and various other forms of martial arts. He has integrated the essences of all the movement-arts he has learned and performs originally choreographed interpretive dance repertories in collaboration with artists of various disciplines.
Gio Kusanagi was the Artist in Residence at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in June 2012, was a commissioned choreographer for the Asian American Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan (“Variations in a Foreign Land #13” produced by Yangtze Repertory Theatre) in September 2012, a featured choreographer at a June festival at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in 2011, a featured choreographer at Judson Memorial Church Performance Series curated by Movement Research in 2010, a commissioned choreographer/dancer at Pittsburgh First Night on 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, a featured choreographer/dancer at Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl in 2010, a featured artist at Pittsburgh Asian American Silk Screen Gala in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, a solicited and a featured choreographer/dancer at Dragon Boat Festival in Pittsburgh in 2010 and 2011, a featured and commissioned chorographer/performer at Dayton Performance Art Festival in February 2008, was a featured artist through the Dayton Circus Art Collectives at Dayton Urban Night in May 2007, a featured choreographer/dancer at SOS Art in Cincinnati in the years of June 2007, 2008,2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, a guest choreographer/dancer at Yellow Spring Street Fair in June 2008, a solicited and featured choreographer/dancer at Center for Remembering and Sharing in NYC in August 2008, a featured choreographer/dancer at Fridge-Fest in Philadelphia in September 2005, and a featured and commissioned choreographer/performer at Binghamton July Fest in 2004, 2005.
Helen Comber, soprano, received degrees in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University (B.S.) and West Virginia University (M.M). Helen is the artistic director of the Morgantown Children's Choir, an elementary music educator, private piano and voice instructor, and church musician.
About Standard ToyKraft
Standard ToyKraft is an artist run theater that offers low-cost performance and rehearsal space as well as a puppet shop and private studios for visual artists. The founders of STK discovered a derelict factory floor located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With lots of blood, sweat and more tears than any of us care to admit we transformed this old sweatshop into a community organization. At the core Standard Toykraft is a community endeavor. Our community of artists continues to grow in this tough city because, we provide a supportive refuge for the development of work. We also produce many of our own shows and events including puppet slams, variety shows, vaudevillian weirdness and various spectacles for the amusement of our patrons.