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Featured Artist: Mio Sakamoto

To celebrate Kaeja d’Dance’s 30th season, we are announcing three Featured Artists — long-time collaborators who are stepping into new roles this year that are vital to our company and our programming. We will be highlighting each of these artists with content about their work, inspiration, and creative aspirations


Mio Sakamoto first met Allen when he taught Kaeja Elevations at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2016. She immediately fell in love with flying, and has been dancing in many of Allen’s works since graduating from STDT. She has been a mentee of both Karen and Allen over the past 5 years, and received mentorship from Karen in dance and choreography last year through the Toronto Arts Council. With Kaeja d’Dance, Mio has found a sense of belonging in Toronto and within the local dance community.



Mio Sakamoto in the XTOD Japan Tour, Photo by Norikazu Okamoto.


As a FEATURED ARTIST with Kaeja:

Mio is the first year-long Artist in Residence in Kaeja d’Dance’s 30-year history. She is using this time to explore a number of different themes through research, dance, and film. Additionally, she is very active in Kaeja’s current season, dancing in Touch X, I Am The Child Of…, and Laneway ART-ery Dances, and assisting and teaching Kaeja’s Dance Film, Dance Improvisation, and Express Dance workshops. In 2022, Mio will be facilitating the week-long Kaeja Intensive alongside Mateo Galindo Torres.


Most recently, Mio was part of re:research with adelheid, where she worked with Nico Contreras and other dance artists in collaborative research. She is co-founder of MillO Dance Projects with Geanderson Mello, and is currently working on a number of projects within their company.



Mio Sakamoto at the 2019 Dance Ontario Awards, Photo by Beata Rasistan.

Mio creates from a place of history and memory that is held in both mind and body. She is interested in movements derived from an engine of intent to communicate using the entire self as a resource. Her choreographic vocabulary leans towards practical and functional movement, valuing untamed energy as well as the embodiment of emotions and sentimentality. Using the correspondence between dancers’ physical and psychological movement allows Mio to create an engaging atmosphere within the world of a work. She believes that crafting movements that are deeply meaningful to dancers delivers fruitful choreography. She is currently aiming to deconstruct the dichotomy of traditional societal roles and express herself where words cannot reach through her choreographic explorations.





Mio Sakamoto, Photo by Geanderson Mello.


As she looks to the future, Mio aspires to create works of great depth that offer a range of sensations to all witnesses. It’s crucial for her not only to expand the reality in which she wishes to live, but also to express who she is and reflect upon social, political and cultural issues that matter to her. Mio wants to expand her delivery of works that provoke public perspective in the near future. She is currently exploring and learning in the world of dance film, and envisions that her future works will take place both in theatre and media.

Follow Mio on Instagram @amomiohk to stay up to date on her work!


Follow MillO Dance Projects on IG @millodance and watch their short film Where Do We Go? online here: https://youtu.be/vPwMcDFughc


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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL LAND

Kaeja d’Dance would like to acknowledge that we are situated upon traditional territories. Our artists, collaborators, staff and team are grateful to be creating art on this land that has been nurtured by recorded and unrecorded human activity for by thousands of years. We honour and respect the traditional lands and waterways of the Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and the Métis Nation. We are in the 'Dish with One Spoon' territory - a treaty between these nations reflecting a commitment to share the territory and protect the land. We also recognize the enduring presence of diverse Indigenous peoples on this land.

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