Founded in 2001, NAKA Dance Theater creates experimental performance works using dance, storytelling, multimedia installations, and site-specific environments. NAKA builds partnerships with communities, engages people’s histories and folklore, and expresses experiences through accessible performances that challenge the viewer to think critically about social justice issues. Recent themes include: racial profiling and state brutality, genetic modification of native crops, the commodification of water, cultural colonization, and the human response to overwhelming disaster. NAKA brings together and creates rapport among diverse populations, encouraging dialogue and civic participation.
Since 2001, NAKA has created work involving members of the Latinx transgender community, the local Mexican-American and Japanese-American communities, and San Francisco’s community of Argentine Tango dancers. NAKA’s work has been presented by Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theater, the Queer Arts Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church (NYC), the Yerba Buena Choreographers Festival, California State University East Bay, the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center Performance Series, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.