Benjamin Akio Kimitch

Benjamin Akio Kimitch is a dance artist and producer living in Brooklyn, NY. His artistic work is deeply influenced by his mixed-race Japanese American heritage and childhood training in Chinese dance. Currently, Benjamin is a 2019-2021 Movement Research artist-in-residence as well as the program director and associate curator of Danspace Project. Benjamin’s 2017 Bessie-Award nominated work Ko-bu premiered at Danspace Project and was later reimagined for the Noguchi Museum. In 2015, he was a Dance and Process artist at The Kitchen. Kimitch holds a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch and studied basic training at Shanghai Theater Academy School of Chinese Opera. From 2015-2020, Benjamin was the senior producer at Performance Space New York/PS122. He previously worked on the artistic programming teams at the Park Avenue Armory, New York Live Arts, and Dance Theater Workshop. Kimitch’s next commissioned dance work will premiere at The Shed in 2022.

Visiting Artist | October 24 - November 4, 2021


Over a century after the height of European trends such as chinoiserie and japonisme, Euro-Americans still copy and commodify many elements of Asian culture, including a range of styles of Asian dance and movement systems. From this framework of commodification, how can Asian American artists reimagine Asian performance forms without falling into the gaze of racial stereotype and caricature?

New York based dance artist and producer Benjamin Akio Kimitch will come to MANCC for the first time to develop a new, currently untitled project, primed to tackle this question. As a mixed-race Japanese American choreographer whose studies began in Chinese dance, Kimitch asks how his curiosities and sensibilities can honor the choreographies, social meaning and artistic developments within non-Western forms in a 21st-century work.Kimitch will open the histories of his artistic influences and recast perceived traditions in Chinese dance and opera as modern, innovative art forms by rejecting mainstream stereotypes of East-meets-West. His background in Chinese opera movement will be a starting point for this work, in part because of its core influence in the development of Chinese classical dance in the 20th century, to reimagine contemporary choreography and de-center western hierarchies.

Kimitch will bring three performers to MANCC including Pareena Lim, Julie McMillan, and Lai Yi Ohlsen, and a dramaturg, Jeffrey Gan, and will also work with MANCC’s Research Associate to build upon scholarly research to support his work, which is set to premiere at The Shed in 2022.

  • Photos Coming Soon

Collaborators in Residence: Pareena Lim, Julie McMillan, and Lai Yi Ohlsen [Performers], Jeffrey Gan [Dramaturg]

World Premiere

Milka Djordjevich

Nov 11 - 13


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