July 9 – 14

BODY WISDOM: discovering the inner landscape

a movement workshop with NAOKO MAESHIBA
performer/director & artistic director of Kibism

Building on her background in Feldenkrais, Michael Chekhov, Noh, and Butoh approaches, Naoko Maeshiba will take you through a journey of discovering the body’s inner wisdom. Working both indoors and  outdoors in nature, the workshop will focus on the body’s expression through its contact with the immediate environment. 

The class offers you a place of inquiry for investigating the depth of your body. Each exercise is designed to awaken your inner sense of self and develop an awareness of external visual/auditory/kinetic stimuli.  You will tap into the primal essence underlying the surface and examine the relationship between the body and various environments. Participants will work in solo, pairs, or an ensemble.

The workshop includes the following explorations, which will culminate in a final presentation;

naoko teaching1) Meeting Self through Body (IN)
Learn to discover the maximum potential of the body by developing sensitivity to its voice and understanding its mechanics.

2) Self and Others (IN and OUT)
Learn to surrender to external stimuli, allowing the inner impulses to play with external stimuli.

3) Doing Body vs. Becoming Body (IN/OUT)
Explore the difference between self-initiated movements and other-centered movements. Conscious and unconscious. Becoming a part of the environment vs. becoming an environment.

4) Metamorphosis (INOUT)
Transform into another person by embodying his/her atmosphere. Learn to evoke the environment his/her body resides in.

5) Final presentation
Drawing from their visual and kinetic memories, participants will work with one of the three options to create a character score: 1) An anonymous character from your life, 2) A fictional character from literature or painting, 3) An imagined character.


Born in Kobe, Japan, Naoko Maeshiba is a director / choreographer / performer / educator who comes from a diverse background in literature, linguistic anthropology, dance and theatre. Having worked and lived in diverse environments since 1991 ranging from a communal performance collective to a regional theatre, she has been bridging various disciplines and forms in her performance creation. Whether directing a scripted play or creating an original dance theatre piece, Maeshiba’s focus to date has been on unveiling the primal state of the body through its contact with the immediate environment. In 2002, she founded Kibism, a performance unit/lab, in order to explore the depth of the body, enhance the exchange and connection between different disciplines and cultures, and experiment with various forms of perception.

Since 1993, she has studied with Min Tanaka, trained in Limon technique with Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin, and learned Japanese Noh theatre with Akira Matsui and Richard Emmert. She has as well as numerous other Pacific Asian dance forms. Maeshiba’s work to date has focused on revealing the unveiled state of the body through its contact with the immediate environment. She carefully conceives and prepares space in its sculptural, auditory, and visual dimensions for dance to visit the body.

Her solo and ensemble works range from site-specific improvisation in collaboration with musicians and visual artists to tightly choreographed full-evening length pieces in theatre. They have been experienced in both traditional and non-traditional venues in the North America, Europe, and Japan. She has taught previously at the Ko Festival, and  many remember he performance of REMAINS OF SHADOW, which included the memorable image of hundreds of bright red ping-pong balls cascading down form the Holden Theatre catwalks.

Maeshiba received her M.F.A. in drama and theatre with Directing/Asian Performance focus from the University of Hawai’I at Manoa. She holds B.A. and M.A. in modern Japanese literature from Kwansei Gakuin University. Since moving to DC from Hawai’I, she directed mainly in DC, working at Arena Stage and serving as the co-artistic director/resident director/choreographer for Tsunami Theatre Company.

Naoko‘s work has received many grants and awards including Best Dance Performance Award from City Paper’s  “Best of Baltimore” 2009. She has taught workshops/classes at Joy of Motion (DC), Shakespeare Theatre’s Southeast Project (DC), Leneon Theatre Company (DC), Honolulu Theatre for Youth (DC), and Theatre of Yugen (San Francisco, CA). In March 2005 she held an artist residency to teach and work with the actors at National Film, TV, and Theatre School in Lodz, Poland. She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and an associate professor in Theatre Arts at Towson University where her teaching focus at Towson is Directing and Ensemble Theatre Creation.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Visit www,naokibi.com


Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85.

Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

Driving Instructions to Amherst College

Amherst College campus map.

Workshops cost $399. There is a $50 discount for registration by May 1.

NOTE: Contact us to apply for limited pool of financial aid, or for discounts for ATHE, NET (Network of Ensemble Theaters) members or staff/artists from TCG member theatres.

Optional room and board are available on the Amherst College campus for an additional fee.
Workshop housing is $210, for a single with a shared bath in an Amherst College dorm. A meal ticket for the Dining Commons (healthy food, much of it local) is $182.

Email us, if you are interested in alternative housing. There are a number of hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

Studios, theatre, dining commons and dorms are all within walking distance.

To register, download the registration form and mail it with your deposit to:

The Ko Festival of Performance
498 South Gulf Road
Belchertown, MA 01007

OR, if you go to our “Buy Tickets” page you can pay by credit card or PayPal.

Questions? For further information email us or call (413) 427-6147.

NOTE: Some people have been having trouble downloading the MS-WORD. Click HERE to download the form as a PDF. If that also fails, either email or call us (see above), and we will send you a registration form via email or post.