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KickStart 2023 Commissioned Choreographers


Co-Choreographer / Performer

Miya Turnbull is a multi-disciplinary visual artist of mixed Japanese Canadian ancestry. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) with a BFA and currently lives in K'jipuktuk (Halifax, NS). She is primarily a mask-maker and new to her practise is performance. She focuses in on Self-Portraits- using her Photo-Mask technique to make life-like representations of her face, often distorting and manipulating her image in various ways, which she then wears as a 'false face' or 'second skin'. She has exhibited her masks, photos and video in galleries throughout Canada and internationally.

Co-Choreographer / Performer

Shion Skye Carter is a dance artist originally from Tajimi, Japan, currently living in so-called Vancouver, Canada. Through choreography hybridized with heritage artforms that interact with digital and sculptural objects, Shion’s work looks inward to the facets of her intersectional identity as a lens to process the world around her. Shion has worked with artists including Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance), Wen Wei Dance, Ziyian Kwan (Dumb Instrument Dance), and Stefan Nazarevich as the interdisciplinary duo olive theory. She holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University, and is the 2022 recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award.

Miya Turnbull

Shion Skye Carter

Shion Skye Carter & Miya Turnbull

Photo of Miya Turnbull by Miya Turnbull

Photo of Shion Skye Carter by Akina Chan


About the Work


Omote (面) is a performance by dance artist Shion Skye Carter and multi-disciplinary visual artist Miya Turnbull, where hand-crafted papier-mâché masks, coming in myriad shapes and facial expressions, become extensions of the body. The masks' distorted imagery borders on grotesque, challenging traditional ideas of beauty, while gestures and tableau articulate the concept of honne (本音) and tatemae (建前): when a person’s true feelings and desires (honne) contrasts from the behaviour and opinions they share in public (tatemae). The masks also serve as tools to reflect on personal identity, and the artists' mixed-race Japanese-Canadian (Nikkei) heritage.


Shion Skye Carter &  Miya Turnbull


Miya Turnbull

Music composition

Stefan Nazarevich 


Julie Tamiko Manning 

Lighting Design

Jareth Li 

Creative Consultants:

Gitanjali Kolanad, Miyuki Embree, and Shizuka Kai

Creative Credits

CroppedHeadshotJulieTamikoManning (1).jpg

Julie Tamiko Manning


Julie Tamiko Manning is an award-winning actor and theatre creator from Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. Her latest play Mizushōbai, about Kiyoko Tanaka Goto, a Japanese picture-bride turned ‘underground’ business woman in 1930’s BC, will go into production next year. She is Co-Artistic Producer of Tashme Productions with Ottawa artist Matt Miwa. Their documentary play, The Tashme Project, a verbatim account of the Japanese Canadian internment experience, was recently published in the anthology Scripting (Im)migration and is being adapted into a graphic novel with Nikkei artist PJ Patten.

Julie is a proud Sansei (third generation) mixed-race Japanese Canadian.

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