Inside the Pillow Lab: Michael Sakamoto


Inside the Pillow Lab is an intimate new film series that captures works in process and behind-the-scenes moments of what it’s like for artists to live, work, and rehearse together again in COVID-compliant residencies on the Pillow’s retreat-like campus. "Garden of the Wilis" is planned as a devised work blending legacies in ballet and butoh and reflecting aesthetic and cultural shifts in the performing arts as embodied in the personal narratives of the lead performers: former ABT/Broadway/film performer George de la Peña and dance theater/media artist Michael Sakamoto. Michael Sakamoto is an artist, scholar, educator, and curator in dance, theater, photography, and media. His creative works have been presented globally in 15 countries, including at Dance Center of Columbia College-Chicago, Vancouver International Dance Festival, REDCAT, Tokyo International Butoh Festival, TACTFest Osaka, Gøteborg Art Sounds, and other venues. Recent touring works include: Flash, a butoh/hip-hop collaboration with Rennie Harris and Soil, a dance theater trio featuring Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian performers. Sakamoto’s scholarship appears regularly in journals and anthologies in numerous disciplines. His book monograph, "An Empty Room: Imagining Butoh and the Social Body in Crisis," is a critical autoethnography of Sakamoto’s three-decade journey through butoh history, practice, and theory, was released in 2022 by Wesleyan University Press. Michael currently serves as Performing Arts Curator and Director of Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Fine Arts Center. Website: INSIDE THE PILLOW LAB Michael Sakamoto RESIDENCY DATES: October 24–30, 2022 APPEARING IN FILM: Michael Sakamoto George de la Peña Hyeyung Yoon Asher Hartman COMPOSER/MUSICIAN: Hyeyung Yoon CO-DIRECTOR/DRAMATURG: Asher Hartman FILMING: Erica Spizz NEL SHELBY PRODUCTIONS Nel Shelby, Producer Taylor Hutchinson, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Sonia Bartolomeo, Project Manager LEAD SUPPORT OF THE 2022-2023 PILLOW LAB IS PROVIDED BY: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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