Mitsu Salmon begins work on her multidisciplinary solo dance piece Tsuchi this Spring at High Concept Labs. Tsuchi draws from her grandfather’s experience growing up in Hawaii as a Japanese-American, and then as an American GI in Japan. The work explores questions of family and modernization through Butoh, Nihon Buyo (Japanese folk dance), contemporary dance, and everyday movements with music and text.
Nihon Buyo and Butoh are heavily influenced by farming and a connection with the earth. Similarly, Tsuchi examines earth and roots as connected to the body, heritage, and place. The work is a collaboration between Salmon, sound artist Alyssa Moxley, accordionist Ryotaro and musician Mike Hero.
Sponsorship by hcl allows Salmon to develop the dance work in hcl’s studios, perform a work in progress of the piece, host Butoh workshop classes, and document the creation of Tsuchi.
Mitsu Salmon creates original performance and visual works that fuse multiple disciplines. She was born in Los Angeles to a Japanese mother and American father. Creating in differing mediums—translating one medium to another—is connected to the translation of differing cultures and languages. Her work weaves Butoh, painting, electronic music, comedy, and poetic text. She aspires to connect the collective experience to a personal emotional landscape.
She has lived in India, England, Germany, Amsterdam, Japan and Bali. She was a core member of the Butoh dance group Ima Tenko and Kiraza for three years in Kyoto, Japan. While in Japan, she studied Butoh, Nihon Buyo, and Buddhism. In Bali, she was a resident artist, mixing painting and performance. She researched Balinese ceremony, modern painting, dance, and trance. Combining the traditional and popular arts, her work advocates for the importance of ritual, symbols and storytelling in contemporary culture.
Salmon received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014, and her undergraduate degree in Experimental Theater in 2005. She has performed solo work at places such Performance Space 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Highways Performance Space, and internationally at Hebbel Am Uffer, the Berlin Performance Art Festival, London Performance Art Festival, and Urbanguild in Kyoto. She has been awarded Los Angeles Getty Multicultural Internship Grant, Tisch Scholarship, SAIC MFA Grant and artist residencies at Earthdance in Massausettes and at Villa Pandan Harum in Bali, Indonesia.