Born in Sapporo, Japan, Kensaku Shinohara discovered dance in 2004 while studying anthropology at International Christian University in Tokyo. After touring nationally and internationally with dance companies Nomade-s, Grinderman, and his own company Team Punchinello, he moved to New York City in 2009 and Los Angeles in 2019. Prompted by the cultural shift he experienced in these moves, his current research focuses on the idea of identity. Although this country holds out a promise of equality among citizens, it is also a prickly social and political landscape where the differences among people due to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., are closely observed and contested. This has raised many questions for him about human nature and the primal forces that move our lives. Ultimately, Shinohara makes dances to connect to other humans and to better understand personal and cultural differences.
His works have been presented throughout NYC including at the Queens Museum, St. Mark’s Church, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92nd Street Y, and LaMaMa Experimental Theater, Brooklyn Studios for Dance; elsewhere in the USA (Los Angeles, Tucson, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh); and internationally in Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, Tainan, and major cities in Japan. Shinohara is a recipient of a 92Y Harkness Dance Center AIR (2017-18), Exploring the Metropolis AIR (2018), Queens Arts Fund New Work Grant (2018 & 2016), Japan Foundation New York Grant for Arts & Culture (2016). His past residency awards include the Center for Performance Research (Brooklyn), MANA CONTEMPORARY (NJ), Dance OMI (Ghent, NY), Earthdance (MA), Marble House Project (VT) and more. Shinohara has taught dance at Gibney Dance Center, Emory University, Artifact Dance Project (Tucson), Canadian Contemporary Dance Theater, PKTB (Malaysia), Seed Dance (Taiwan), Architanz (Tokyo) and more.
Shinohara has also appeared on Off-Broadway theater production Time's Journey Through a Room (Play Company) and has guest-choreographed theater works by UPS Academy, Tokyo. He is currently in the MFA program in Choreography at the California Institute of the Arts, under the President's Aspiring Artist Scholarship (2019-2021).