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18.03.2019 | Corporate philanthropy
Kaori Ito is a Japanese dancer and choreographer supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation since 2015 who has worked with the greatest choreographers of her generation. Based in France since the early 2000s, she has performed with many ballet companies worldwide. From 21 to 24 March 2019, she will share the stage at the CENTQUATRE Paris with actor and dancer Miraï Moriyama.
Born in Japan, Kaori Ito began studying classical ballet at the age of five. At 20, in the framework of an international study programme set up by the Japanese government, she studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. She began her career as a performer with great choreographers such as Philippe Decouflé, James Thierrée, Alain Platel and Aurélien Bory. Since 2008, she has been writing her own pieces. In 2014, she founded her dance company, Himé which means “princess” in Japanese.
Between 2015 and 2018, she created a series exploring the contours of humanity through her feelings and intimate experience. Mischievous and lucid, she asks honest questions with a sense of humour about what drives human beings. This search resulted in an intimate trilogy: I Dance Because I Mistrust Words (a duet with her father, 2015), Set Me on Fire (a performance with her companion, 2017) and Robot, Eternal Love (a solo on existential loneliness, January 2018). In 2015, she won the New Choreography Talent prize from the SACD and was inducted into the Order of Arts and Letters. Kaori Ito is an associated artist at the MAC in Créteil, an apprentice at KLAP Maison pour la danse in Marseille and an artist-in residence at 104.
On occasion she has also worked with professionals from other artistic disciplines such as with Edouard Baer and Denis Podalydès for the Comédie Française and at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2016. Kaori Ito’s work, light-hearted, sensitive and serious all at the same time, questions humanity and the world around us. It is intimate: her creations are based on personal experiences and openly shared. In 2017, the BNP Paribas Foundation decided to extend its support of her creative work.
The choreographer’s creative work has been backed by the BNP Paribas Foundation since 2015.
Here’s what she says about the lovely relationship that has emerged over time:
“ The BNP Paribas Foundation has given the Himé company precious support since its creation. I appreciate the personal involvement of each member of their team. They follow my work with kindness, curiosity and a relevant knowledge. That makes me feel like I belong to a big family. ”
Designed and performed as a duet with the actor and dancer Miraï Moriyama, the work is based on Yukio Mishima’s book A Beautiful Star.
Kaori Ito on Is It Worth To Save Us?
“In A Beautiful Star by Yukio Mishima, the family thinks they’re all extraterrestrials. Each member of the family comes from a different planet. At one point in the story, extraterrestrials arrive from another planet to destroy Earth. The invaders discuss why it would be worth saving humans. The father thinks humans have some interesting traits. He says, ‘It’s odd that they put birds in cages when they have complete freedom’ and asks, ‘why do humans forget their bad deeds when they laugh?’”
Photos: header ©Laurent Paillier / ©Laurent Philippe