Lisa Kusanagi is Body Expressionist - artistic director, conceptual artist, activist, dance educator MFA. Native of Tokyo, Japan, Kusanagi began her formal dance training at the Matsuyama Ballet School under the guidance of world famous ballerina, Yoko Morishita. She moved to the United States in 2007 to pursue her career. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts and Dance, cum laude, from Sonoma State University (CA) and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University (VA). Kusanagi creates live body-based performances and films. Her works have won First Place at Utah Dance Film Festival, Audience Choice Award at 40 NORTH Dance Film Festival, screened on JW Marriott Hotel LED bill boards in downtown LA as part of LA Live! and presented in Japan, China, Indonesia, Australia, U.S. United Kingdom, Norway, Portugal, Albania, Kenya, México, Chile, and Columbia. Kusanagi has been a member of Mark Haim Dance and Theater since 2012 and she was one of the original cast members of Haims celebrated work, This Land Is Your Land, which she performed at The Joyce Theater (NYC), Pacific Northwest Ballet (WA), On the Boards (WA), American Dance Festival (NC), Nasher Museum of Art (NC), and ArtDanThé Festival 2013 at the Théâtre de Vanves (Paris, France). This Land Is Your Land was chosen for one of the “15 Most Influential Works of The Past 15 Years” in Dance Magazine, January 2015 issue. She was featured in Park Bennett Films and Berlin based band, Brandt Brauer Fricks, music video, choreographed by Kiani del Valle, Plastic Like Your Mother, which was nominated for a MuVi-Award 2013 at Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen in Germany. Kusanagi founded a non-profit company, Lisa Kusanagi Dance Expressionist, in New York City and co-founded an interdisciplinary art collective, Kusanagi Sisters, with her sister, JuJu Kusanagi, in NYCSeattle. Her original works have been presented at Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Judson Church STUFFED (NYC), Danspace Project DraftWork (NYC), Harlem Stage E-Moves 16: The Takeover (NYC), HATCH Presenting Series (NYC), Next Century Gala (WA), Cornish College of the Arts (WA), Next Dance Cinema (WA), Hollins University (VA), Marginal Arts Festival (VA), ADFs Movies by Movers (NC), Sonoma State University (CA), American College Dance Festival-West Region (CA), San Francisco Dance Film Festival (CA), 40 NORTH Dance Film Festival (CA), 40 NORTH Selects 2015 (CA), StandardVision (CA), Utah Dance Film Festival (UT), Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (MI), EnCORE: Dance on Film (GA), Oklahoma Dance Film Festival (OK), IndieWise Virtual Festival (FL), Universidad de las Americas Puebla (Mexico), Danza UDLAP (Mexico), Performática (Mexico), Agite y Sirva-Screendance Touring Festival (Mexico), International Festival of Film for Children and for Teenagers (Albania), Braga International Video Dance Festival (Portugal), Lake International Poetry and Film Festival (Kenya), 2nd MINIKINO Film Week Festival 2016 (Bali, Indonesia), Second Asia International Wenzhou Youth Short-Film Exhibition (China), Other Worlds Music Film Festival (United Kingdom), Wirral International Film Festival (United Kingdom), Bestias Danzantes Festival Cine de Danza (Chile), Kuir Bogotá - Festival Internacional de Arte & Cine Queer (Columbia), Multiplié Dance Film Festival (Norway) and many more. Kusanagi has taught dance and performing arts at Hollins University (VA), Sonoma State University (CA), Patrick Henry High School (VA), Midwest Regional Alternative Dance FestivalRAD Fest (MI), Performática (Mexico), and Labo International Exchange Foundation (Japan). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla (Mexico). Kusanagi investigates and creates conceptual virtuosity through physical artistry.
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