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: http://www.michaelsakamoto.org. 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
In Inside the Pillow Lab
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Sonya Tayeh & Jenn Freeman
Inside the Pillow Lab: Sonya Tayeh & Jenn Freeman
"Is It Thursday Yet?" is a stimulating hybrid of theatricality and clinical analysis, a solo dance work with live musical accompaniment exploring autistic choreographer and dancer Jenn Freeman’s neurodivergent brain in motion.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Larissa Velez-Jackson
Inside the Pillow Lab: Larissa Velez-Jackson
For this project, "Yackez Love For A New World Paradigm", Larissa returns to directing and choreographing Yackez, her collaboration with her husband, musical director Jon Velez-Jackson.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Mythili Prakash
Inside the Pillow Lab: Mythili Prakash
"She’s Auspicious" examines notions of femininity and purity through the paradox of the Hindu Goddess Devi, who is worshiped as powerful and auspicious, in contrast to the woman who is objectified and marginalized in society.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Theresa Ruth Howard
Inside the Pillow Lab: Theresa Ruth Howard
For this Pillow Lab, MoBBallet (Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet) founder Theresa Ruth Howard tapped 2021 Guggenheim Choreographic Fellow Christopher Huggins to enter a process with eight international Black dancers.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: André Zachery
Inside the Pillow Lab: André Zachery
During his Pillow Lab residency, André Zachery develops "Respiration", an evening-length multimedia performance of dance, original sound and digital media inspired by the novel "The City We Became" by acclaimed Afrofuturist writer N.K. Jemisin.
Play video Inside the Pillow Lab: Rokafella and Kwikstep
Inside the Pillow Lab: Rokafella and Kwikstep
During this Pillow Lab residency, Kwikstep and Rokafella took time to look over their choreographic body of work to extract inspiring phrases and build a new duet that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.