I want to dance before I die. I don't know when I am going to die. So I should dance all the time.
I am interested in different things around dance. There are so many layers. Body, Brain, Connection, Disconnection, Allowed, Resist, Space, Inside, Outside..
Through my dances, I hope to share my experiences and ideas and interests with audiences. My experiences and ideas live in the big container of my moveable body, and I share them through my body, through movement. I hope every audience member will formulate their own stories or interpretations of my work as they watch - I want to spark their imaginations and inspire them to think. I often gather inspiration from my daily life and I am always on the lookout to catch interesting scenes. I am exploring how to use space, how to pause, how to use the body, the direction of focus... I believe that even if I can't solve any major problems of the world directly, as I dance and make dance, it helps the world to heal and be better. I believe I can create and send good energy to the earth as a dancer and a choreographer.
Artistic Director / Choreographer
Mei Yamanaka is a dancer and choreographer from Tokyo, Japan.
She began studying classical ballet when she was 6 years old and began studying hip hop at age 16. At age 18, she added modern and contemporary dance styles. In 2008, at the age of 18, she moved to New York City.
Her choreography has been presented in Japan and the United States. In New York City, her work has been seen as a part of Fresh Tracks at New York Live Arts, Food for Thought at Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Performance Mix Festival at HERE Arts Center, New Steps at Chen Dance Center, Dumbo Dance Festival at Gelsey Kirkland Arts CEnter, Cool NY at 92nd Street Y, GAP Presents | Shared Space at the Green Building, Take Root and Fertile Ground at Green Space, Under Exposed and Crossing Boundaries at Dixon Place, Y Cabaret at the 14 Y, First Look at the Brooklyn Ballet, The Craft at Threes Brewing, Split Bill and Collaborations in Dance Festival at Triskelion Arts, and more.
In Japan, her evening-length work, now now, was presented by G-Screw Dance Lab in 2017.
She has worked and collaborated with artists including Tiffany Mills Company, Jennifer Archibald, Dendy Donovan Projects, Katy Pyle/Ballez, Jody Oberfelder Project, Patricia Noworol Dance Theater, Dai Jian, Palissimo, Oui Danse, Malcolm Low, Jenni Hong, Emily Berry, White Wave Dance Company, Catherine Galasso, Christine Bonansea, Boy Friday, Kensaku Shinohara, and Orange Grove Dance, among others.
She was elected as an Artist-in-Residence at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts) for the Fresh Tracks program in 2010-2011. She was also a residency artist at Chez Bushwick in 2014. In addition, her work has been seen as a part of the Visa Voice series at Dance New Amsterdam in 2013 and 2014. This year, she is the recipient of the Triskelion Arts Space Subsidy Program, made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Yamanaka has guest taught at numerous colleges, universities and festivals, including the Tisch Summer Dance Festival at NYU, Queensborough Community College, Northwest Vista College, Lewis & Clark College, Roger Williams University, Alfred University, and Reed College as a member of Tiffany Mills Company.
In 2014, she was awarded the best dancer from Italian International Dance Festival.
Dancer / Collaborator
Misuzu Hara is from Japan. She started learning classical ballet at the age of three and modern jazz dance at fifteen. She pursued her study in dance at Showa Academy of Music College in Japan where she majored in classical ballet. Upon graduation from College, she taught ballet technique to youth. At the same time, she is active as a dancer and performed in many projects in Japan.
In 2009, she moved to New York. In the United States,she has been working with Jennifer Archibald,OUI Danse,White Wave Dance Company. Also she has worked Nathan Trice, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Oliver Steele, Max Stone, and among others.