for broadening out the pool and throwing in Noism's Jo Kanamori for consideration.
Kanamori, thirty-three, began dance training early with his father and subsequently studied with companies in Japan and Switzerland. His enviable experience in Europe also included stints with Nederlands Dans Theater II (for which he first choreographed), the Lyon Opera Ballet, and the Gothenburg Ballet. After returning to Japan, Kanamori founded Noism04 in 2004. (The name of the company changes with the year.)
On February 15, UMS presents Noism08 in NINA materialize sacrifice, a stunning piece of dance-theater, which premiered in 2005 in Niigata, Japan; Noism is the resident dance company at the City Performing Arts Center there. With choreography and lighting (just as critical, as you'll see) by Kanamori and music by Vietnamese-French composer Ton That An, NINA, with its techno-ballet sheen, is as watchable as it is occasionally disturbing.
If the age-old artistic debate of color versus design, or drawing, still holds any sway, you'd have to put Kanamori in the draftsman camp. His universe is a stark, maybe even sinister, study in contrasts, riddled with sharp angles and fluid lines. Yet to judge by his self-consciously futuristic, cinematic vision, he's eminently twenty-first century.