Degenerate Art Ensemble
County: King County
Arts Innovator Award 2020
Learn About Arts Innovator Award
Haruko Crow Nishimura is a dancer, vocalist and is co-artistic director of Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE). She is always searching to discover how art can create deeper connections and awakenings. Her own style of live music and movement theater and dance is rooted in her background of Japanese butoh dance, physical theater and classical music. Her art strives to embody and reveal the hidden beauty of darkness to heal and confront and to find commonality in humanity. Her most recent work Skeleton Flower tells the story of her own struggle with identity, depression, childhood trauma and finding voice. She is the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Joshua Kohl is a composer, sound designer, and conductor and is the co-artistic director of Degenerate Art Ensemble. He is obsessed with finding ways through sound to penetrate into the subconscious and create the conditions for collective transformation. He is also an avid advocate of the music of his peers through his conducting, mentorship, and podcasting. In 2012 his music for DAE’s multidisciplinary work Red Shoes received the International Theatre Institute’s Music Theatre Now Award at the Swedish Biennale.
Highlights of the duo’s work include a major exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in 2011, a collaboration with Kronos Quartet for their 40th anniversary celebration in 2013, a commission from director Robert Wilson to interpret his and Phillip Glass’ Einstein on the beach at the Baryshnikov Center in 2014, a performance tribute for choreographer Anna Halprin for her 95th birthday celebration in 2015, a commission from the legendary Czech rock band Uz Jsme Doma to create an orchestral suite inspired by their music with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016. Their most recent work Skeleton Flower was shown at the Spotlight USA Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria 2018 and in 2021 will have its New York Debut and will be shown at the International Festival of Contemporary Dance in Mexico City. They are currently in the process of collaborating with sculptor and installation artist Senga Nengudi and musician Eddy Kwon to create a new interdisciplinary performance work commissioned by Colorado College’s Innovation department, NPN, and the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.
Artist External Links
Skeleton Flower, Photo, 2019, Photo: Steven Miller
Predator Songstress, 2015, Photo: Bruce Clayton Tom
Warrior/Underbelly, 2012, Bruce Clayton Tom
Cuckoo Crow, 2007, Steven Miller
Red Shoes, 2011, Bruce Clayton Tom