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Odori: The World of Kabuki Dance - Artist Bios

Fujima Shôgo was born into a family of professional nihon buyoh dancers, and trained by his mother Fujima Shōhō. His first stage appearance was when he was only three years old and took a professional name in 1985, at the age of 25. He also has a degree in performing arts from Tamagawa University, and toured to London and the Edinburgh Fringe. He has been teaching and performing nihon buyoh for over two decades, touring internationally to Thailand, China, Belgium and Denmark (working with Eugenio Barba), Poland, and England. Fujima Shōgo is also a founding member of "Ko-no-Kai" a group consisting of male professional nihon buyoh dancers from a mix of the major buyoh schools/traditions. The group does contemporary choreographies based on buyoh forms often using contemporary music and has recently won a national award. See: www.konokai.com for examples of this work.

IZUMI Tokuho - performer
Izumi Tokuho's first stage appearance was when he was three years old and took his professional name in 1985 at the age of 16. He became a licensed teacher when he was 19 and has been producing and performing in dance concerts for the past 20 years. He has won multiple awards from the Japanese Classical Dance Association for his teaching and performing. Tokuho specializes in onnagata or female roles and is a member of "Ko-no-Kai" with Fujima Shôgo.

FUJIMA Monyo - performer
Fujima Monyo was born into a professional nihon buyoh family had his first performance at age 12, training under the late master Fujima Monjuro, taking a professional name in 1982 and receiving a master teacher license in 1992. He performs regularly and has won awards from the National Japanese Classical Dance Association.

Dr. Julie Iezzi - guest scholar and lecture demonstration
Dr. Julie A. Iezzi is an Associate Professor in the University of Hawai'i Dept. of Theatre and Dance, where she primarily teaches Japanese and contemporary Asian theatre, and directs English-language kyogen and kabuki productions. She has spent more than 14 years studying traditional theatre and musical forms in Japan, performing in both the US and Japan as an actor and musician. Her kabuki and kyogen translations have been performed in Hawaii and Maryland, and published in the Asian Theatre Journal and the Kabuki On Stage Series (University of Hawaii Press). Her research interests range from Meiji Japan performing arts to narrative theatre traditions throughout Asia, and she is currently working on a bilingual dvd of tokiwazu, a traditional narrative genre used in kabuki.