This site is a place for me to share a few inspired ideas along with some images of the work that I am compelled to make in this particular moment. My goal is to maintain it as a kind of autonomous zone for me to speak as  transparently as possible about who I am and why I am drawn to create the things I do. If you are interested—-cool. Follow the labyrinth down…..




Artist Statement

I am sustained and inspired to create because it nourishes.  It nourishes my wild self as it nourishes my contemporary art self, my relational self, my neurotic self, and my poetic self. They all have a place to exist freely in the realm of the creative. And this I feel is essential to human experience.

I discover work through observations of fleeting moments….precious and difficult. daily and ecstatic. This is why I must create—because it is one of the truest places for me to know the depth, complexity and beauty of all it means to be human. It is the place I can be the most honest, the most free of social conventions and boxes, and the most natural me. I am drawn to raw and rough expression, experiences that make me unsure of whether I am laughing or crying, and bodies/minds/actions on the edge of living. Social and Ecological issues, not always addressed through abstraction, are also an underlying impetus of my work. Diversity, Wildness, Culture, Domesticity, Presence and Femininity are topics I often wrestle with in both my daily life and creative life and I believe it is through engaged creative practice and awareness that we can best begin to understand these things and develop more compassionate ways of being in the world.

This is also why I am drawn to teach–in order to share these enlivened and embodied moments with others as a means to support the liberation of the human creative spirit. In my workshops I am interested in providing the opportunity for deep self and collective inquiry through present and invigorated physical practice, thoughtful creative practice and wild states of primal intimacy.

 -Mizu Desierto


Mizu is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of  Water in the Desert (WITD) and The Headwaters Theatre. She is a performer, choreographer and educator whose work explores themes of identity, truth, culture, ecology and transformation. She has performed with Harupin-Ha Butoh (S.F.), Yoshito and Kazuo Ohno (Japan), & Diego Piñon (Mexico) & Human Nature Dance Theatre (AZ) and her solo work has been presented nationally and internationally. Mizu’s artistic works have been commissioned by The City of Portland and Portland Center Stage and she is a frequent educator and choreographer for The Circus Project. In addition, her work has received  funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland Development Commission, Oregon Arts Commission, The Multnomah County Cultural Coalition & The Oregon Cultural Trust. As an educator, she has taught intensive courses through Prescott College and Portland State University.


photo by Delisa Myles

American ME, photo by Kamala Kingsley

American ME, photo by Kamala Kingsley

Cat dance with Breanna Rogers, photo by Delisa Myles

Cat dance with Breanna Rogers, photo by Delisa Myles

Diego Piñón's Marrow Within Madness, photo by Kamala Kingsley

Diego Piñón’s Marrow Within Madness, photo by Kamala Kingsley


My projects:

Water in the Desert (WITD)

is a Portland-based non-profit organization dedicated to offering innovative, multidisciplinary, and accessible artistic experiences & residencies along with integrative educational programming. As a producer of original artistic and educational events, WITD brings together contemporary pioneers– in fields as diverse as dance and farming, theatre and psychology– in an effort to invigorate experiences of depth, awareness and intimacy within the framework of our personal lives, our communities, and the larger sensate world around us. Each of our projects derive from the same value-based philosophy—to cultivate a more assimilated approach to social, ecological, and cultural concerns through artistic practice and embodied engagement. We believe that the sustainable dialogue is not complete without a more engaged approach to creative practices within the community. WITD.org

The Headwaters Theatre

is a black box theatre, rehearsal space and classroom dedicated to serving local artists by providing an affordable and professional space for launching new work.  The theatre is located on the fringe of North Portland, a neighborhood with a burgeoning art scene.  Equipped with professional sound, lighting and projection capabilities, a professional sprung-wood floor and comfortable movie-theatre-style seating, the space serves artists in theatre, dance, music and film throughout the year.. TheHeadwaters.net

Prior Day Farm

is a 3/4 acre urban dance farm on the edge of Portland, in the once independent township of St. Johns. It is the WITD palette for integrating the arts and sustainability. Its inaugural project was an integrated course in Butoh and Permaculture through Portland State University. In 2014 we will have the exciting new addition of having Wobbly Dance move into a neighboring home—this summer is going to be full of workshops, art farm parties, and all around goodness. PriorDayFarm.org

Current Collaborations:

Wobbly Dance

Human Nature Dance Theatre

Diego Piñón North American BRM Ensemble

Current Projects for Touring:

American ME, ensemble butoh theatre extravaganza

Reverie of Forgotten Landscape, solo performance




Dance | Embodiment| Butoh | Ritual | Sustainaiblity



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55 NE Farragut St. #9
Portland, OR  97211


American ME, mofo.