Hailed by Ms. Magazine’s end of the century issue as “a choreographer making great leaps forward into the 21st century” Donna Uchizono is the Artistic Director of Donna Uchizono Company, a New York-based company established in 1990. Since her choreographic debut in 1990, Uchizono rapidly emerged from the “downtown scene” as a choreographer known for her spicy movement, wit, and rich invention. Donna Uchizono Company has toured throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia and has created work for notables Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright, Paula Vogel, MacArthur Fellow, David Hammons, and neurologist/writer Oliver Sacks.
In 2011, after decades of critically-acclaimed dance works that toured nationally and internationally, Donna Uchizono was identified by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Dance Heritage Coalition as a master choreographer whose works require preservation. Donna Uchizono Company received a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts award for Phase 1 of the archival and preservation of her work.
In addition to being a Unites States Artist, Guggenheim Fellow and a “Bessie” award winner, Uchizono has been recognized by many awards including United States Artist Award in dance, an Alpert Award in Dance, Rockefeller, the National Dance Project, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, Altria Group, Inc., the Jerome Foundation, Dance Magazine Seed Grant, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Arts International, Foundation for Contemporary Performance, Metropolitan Life Foundation/ADF Commission, the National Performance Network, the Suitcase Fund, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Greenwall Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation. Uchizono has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and five New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships.
Uchizono's recent distinction as the only American-born choreographer of Asian ancestry in the history of modern dance, to have received the recognition of both cumulative esteemed national grants* and significant national and international touring of an eponymous dance company emphasizes the urgency to delve into Phase I of this important archival project.
Uchizono’s work is characterized by its numerous collaborative projects working with collaborators MacArthur Fellow Visual Artist David Hammons, Composers "Butch" Morris, James Lo and David Shively, Lighting Designers Joe Levasseur, Stan Pressner and Video Artist Maya Ciarrochi. Her project Low, a collaboration with Composer Guy Yarden, received a “Bessie” (New York Dance and Performance Award) for both Uchizono and Yarden. Uchizono’s interest in original and live music for performance is evidenced by her collaborations with composers and her former role as co-director and -curator of “Bread to the Bone”, a live music/dance series at The Knitting Factory in New York. Uchizono was the choreographer for playwright Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home for the Trinity Repertory Company and the Long Wharf Theater, directed by Oskar Eustis. Uchizono was commissioned by Baryshnikov Dance Foundation, to create a new work for Mikhail Baryshnikov, commissioned by New York Live Arts (NYLA) for the Olivers Sacks Festival in celebration of the noted neurologist and writer’s 80th birthday and a new work for Bard Music Festival’s "Franz Liszt and His World".
Since 1990 she has regularly taught workshops and classes in the U.S., Europe, and South America. She has participated in festivals and teaching institutions in Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Argentina and Romania. In the U.S., Uchizono has been a guest choreographer at various universities and colleges, including Sarah Lawrence College, Temple University, Barnard College, Bryn Mawr, Weslyan University, California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, Hunter College, Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) the University of Minnesota, and currently teaches at Florida State University. Uchizono is a member of the Artist Advisory Board at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, where she was a founding member and Chair from 1990-1995, setting up a forum for artists to discuss issues.