Los Angeles-based movement artist exploring human interest stories through a visceral contemporary dance language


A Los Angeles native, Marissa Osato creates emotionally-driven, embodied narratives to find cross-cultural universality within shared experiences. Using a hybrid language of contemporary, jazz, and street dance techniques, Marissa’s choreography mixes dynamic, virtuosic movement with intricate, precise gestures and rhythms. Her work exhibits a sense of groundedness and abandon, of rhythm and dynamism, of stillness and intimacy. Marissa is the co-founder/co-artistic director of Entity Contemporary Dance, an LA-based dance company rooted in a fusion of urban and classical dance techniques that has taught workshops and performed original repertory in the U.S. and Asia. Marissa holds an M.F.A. in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts, and a B.A. in Dance and B.A. in Literary Journalism from the University of California, Irvine. Marissa has performed on television shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, and has worked with musical artists such as Coldplay, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and Charice. A passionate educator, Marissa has set choreography on over 50 studios and colleges across the U.S., and has taught master classes in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Canada, and Guam. Currently, Marissa co-directs Entity Contemporary Dance, teaches at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, and tours as a faculty teacher on the national convention, West Coast Dance Explosion. As the 2017 Capezio A.C.E. Awards winners, Marissa and co-director, Will Johnston, will be premiering a new evening length work for Entity Contemporary Dance in Los Angeles in March 2019. Also, as a recent winner of Joffrey’s 9th Annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition, Marissa will create a new work on the Joffrey Studio Company and Joffrey Academy Trainees that will premiere at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Edlis Neeson Theater in March 2019.