Mio Sakamoto is a Toronto based dance artist originally from Japan. Sakamoto graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2017. In 2018, she attended B12 Festival and Nuova Officinal Della Danza where she researched and trained with international artists including Francisco Córdova, Shannon Gillen, Ryan Mason, Johannes Wieland, Hofesh Shechter Company, and L-E-V Dance Company. Over the past few years, she has professionally performed (selected) Crépuscule by Marie-Josée Chartier, October Sky by Paul-André Fortier, XTOD - SOLO DANCE XCHANGE for Xtraordinary Japan Tour by Kaeja d’Dance, and Mani.Deux by Northfoot Movement for its premier at FFDN in 2019. She is currently working in two creations by Kaeja d’Dance premiering in 2021. Sakamoto’s choreographic work, Systematic, Oblivious or Naive, You Don’t Own Me, and Cater To You, was performed in Canada and Japan. Supported by the Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship program of TAC, she is in progress to develop her artistry with Karen Kaeja as her mentor.
Thoughts About Art and Community
I come from a traditional Japanese household, where the father figure is the dominant presence and I participated in, and was obedient within, the structure. As I got older I realized this is a form of discrimination I don't want to perpetuate. It is important for me to express who I am, and reflect upon the social, political and cultural issues that matter to me. Through my current choreographic work, I strive to engage in the matter of equality to gain awareness towards the bias-free society. I am constantly researching ways to invite people from all age, race, gender orientation, and cultural backgrounds to be mindful that discrimination does exist, and to see the great potential in change. I hope to respectfully provoke critical thinking in audience members to search for their own questions and answers while providing a sensation and satisfaction through the physicality of dance. Through engagements with the community members and emerging dancers, I aim to share my practice and the joy of dance and its healing effect. I believe I will contribute to and enrich the artistry of the Toronto dance community and gain awareness of sensitive matters by expressing my voice through dance works. Engaging with dancers and non-dancers through dance workshops, I strive to provide a positive experience to encourage their mental and physical health.
As an emerging choreographer, I create contemporary dance works with history and memory of the mind and body. I strive to offer the public to witness my works that have depth and density to deliver inexplicable feelings and perceptions. I am also a certified Kaeja Elevation teacher, and I have been developing my own partnering class inspired by the Kaeja Elevation. I have taught, assisted, and choreographed in secondary schools, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and Ryerson University. I hope to continue engaging with emerging artists who are interested in my skills and emerging practice through workshops I offer. Through dance I have learned to believe in myself, collaborate, and better understand myself. I have become interested in the relationship between physical and mental health, having benefited personally from its positive effects, and I wish to share that with others. I hope to engage more with non-dancer community members through dance workshops to spread the power of dance to heal us with the warmth of connection.