Autograph is a platform which supports emerging dance artists as they progress in their careers and create new work. With the support of Serendipity and Dance4, Misato Shimizu and Ofelia Balogun have spent the last year developing two new innovative pieces of dance, both exploring identity.
Misato Shimizu – The Fly
Originally created around Misato’s experiences of moving to the UK, The Fly is an autobiographical solo that explores life in a different country and culture. The work explores the need to express oneself, whilst often confined to being a fly on the wall, and the powerlessness of feeling that thoughts and opinions might be lost in translation. Misato has since returned to Tokyo, now feeling a stranger in her hometown, where everything should feel familiar. Misato has developed her work to examine what it means to reconsider her identity in a country that no longer feels like “home”.
Il Salice – The Willow Tree
Ofelia draws from her own exploration of cultural heritage and travel to discover her own dance language. Drawing strength from the imagery of Il Salice, the willow tree, Ofelia examines why as humans we allow external factors to define who we are, rejecting ourselves and erasing our ancestry. Drawing on African, African Caribbean and contemporary dance technique, Ofelia questions “if we do not have strong roots, how can we face life?”