Who is Gio Kusanagi?

1)    Training Background and Current Activities

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 also teaches classes and workshops on  Butoh dance, Tai Chi, Qigong, and dance therapy for self-exploration through various locations in West Virginia, Maryland, and New York.  Further, he has produced multiple dance theaters in various cities, including, but were not limited to NYC, Dayton OH, Cincinnati OH, and Morgantown WV.

2)    Recent Artistic Accomplishments

Gio Kusanagi was an Artist in Residence at Center for Remembering and Sharing as well as at Leimay @ Cave from January 2016 through June 2016, an Artist in Residence at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in June 2012, 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.  

 4)    Degrees

M.A., Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology (Tokyo University)

B.A., Aesthetics – Philosophy of Performing Arts (Tokyo University)

5) Certification

Certified Evans Method Modern Dance Instructor (through Bill Evans)


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