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Shamisen & Odori: The Music and Dance of Kabuki - Artist Bios

FUJIMA Shōgo - master dancer
Fujima Shōgo was born into a family of professional nihon buyoh dancers, and trained by his mother Fujima Shôhô. 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. FUJIMA Shōgo was the principal dancer in TomoeArts' Odori: The World of Kabuki Dance in 2010.

TOKIWAZU Mozibei V - master musician (shamisen & voice)
Born in 1961 as the first son of TOKIWAZU Mozibei IV. He studied Tokiwazu style music form his father and grand-uncle, and also graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (current Tokyo University of the Arts), Faculty of Music in 1984. He became the fifth generation to be Mozibei when his grandfather granted him that name in 1996. He performs regularly at the Kabuki-za and for kabuki productions across Japan as a concert master of Tokiwazu-style shamisen. He is also known as a composer of various styles and is interested in artistic fusion, mixing traditional shamisen with western classical or rock music. Mozibei is also a master instructor of Tokiwazu shamisen and voice, teaching in various places including Tokyo University. In 2008 he was appointed as a Japan Cultural Envoy by the Japanese Government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, and has been active in performance, creation, and lecturing at research institutes internationally. In 2010 he was awarded the 66th Japan Academy Prize, the most prestigious national prize for Japanese artists, for his excellent work as a performer in kabuki theatre and his broad activity of creation and performance.

FUJIMA Sayû (Colleen LANKI) - dancer
Colleen has been directing, choreographing and performing internationally for over two decades in shows of every variety. She was based in Tokyo for many years where she studied noh (traditional Japanese Theatre) and nihon buyoh (Japanese classical dance) and worked on intercultural theatre projects. She was given the professional name Sayū in 2001 from her teacher FUJMA Yūko (1938-2002), and now studies with FUJIMA Shōgo. Colleen has created a number of dance-theatre works using nihon buyoh forms. She is the Artistic Director of TomoeArts.