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I have been performing my solo concert series since 2014.
And Iam very happy to present my first production of 共鳴ーResonance (premiered 2014)
at Warwick Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday 16 February 2019.
It is about 2 hours away from NYC. If you live near, or you can take a bus from Port Authority!!!


In 2014, I first started this solo concert series. I have the idea of 5 concerts to full fill my plan.

In 2013, my mentor Yuriko, received the Foreign Minister's Commendation from the Japanese
government, recognized for her outstanding achievements in the field of dance and for her
contribution to relations between Japan and the United States.
Through dance she promotes culture exchanges and inspires collaborations between
different American dance companies, cultural institutions, and government agencies.

Yuriko was born in San Jose, California.
Her father passed away with the break of flu. Her mother sent her to Japan to avoid her catching
this flu. During her time in Japan, she studied with one of the Japanese's pioneer of modern dance,
Konami Ishii. With Konami, she learn and danced "Dance Poem".

Came back to US after Yuriko finished her school in Japan, then WWII started. She was sent to the internment camp in Arizona. She started to teach dance to women and children in the camp,
and formed a company to perform. This company was the only people allowed to go out side
from the camp to perform!

After WWII, Yuriko decided to come to NY. She was working as a seamstress to make living.
Then she went to Martha Graham studio to take class - there are many interesting story
but I am making it very short. After a short while, she was invited to join the company.
Martha creates her works by using her dancers. Yuriko was very influential to Martha.
There are many works that she created movements which I learn during my time
in Graham company.

I met Yuriko in 1981.
My nick name was "Graham cracker" at the Ailey school.
After finishing my scholarship from the school, I could not get another year because
President changed and government change the regulation for international students changed -
No scholarships to international students!
So I was going back to Japan. During my scholarship year, I didn't see much performances,
since I was taking 4-5 classes everyday, i was so tired... So I decided to stay few more months
before I head back to Japan. I took classes, went to see everything possible
- musicals, theatre, dance, and music.

The last thing I was going to do before I leave, was taking Peggy Lyman and Peter Sparling's
workshop at Kazuko Hirabayashi Studio. There was an audition to get in, they only take
15 dancers to this class. Somehow I passed!!! And I learn so much in this workshop.
Peggy said to us in the end of this workshop, "there will be an audition - Graham company and
school, you all should go and try". So I went too!!! At the door, there was a receptionist,
he looked at me and said "do you have a green card? are you an American?" I didn't even know
what was "green card" so i said "no i don't have, and I am Japanese" then he told me,
" you can not take this audition".
I was shocked... oh well... one thing that I thought America is very open
but not really... it is very limited...
That moment Peggy came down from upstairs, saw me and asked why I am not changed. I told her, and she said to the receptionist " She is ok to take this audition" and said to me " go change!"
So I did. Changed and took this audition.
After the audition, I was told, since I am not an American, they are not able to take me as a scholarship student but if I am interested to come to the school. Then I thought,

I have to call my parents. Collect call to let them know I will stay another year.
My mother was very cool but my father was " I thought you are coming back...". He was very
disappointed by my demand... But he was happy that I wanted to stay to study little more
- - - -well this little more became over ALMOST 40 years now...

So I went to the Graham school.
316 East 63rd Street Studio.

I was told to take Yuriko's class. But she was not teaching regular classes but only for 1 or 2
weeks workshop. Then her workshop happened. The second day, she looked at me said
"are you Japanese?" and I said "yes". Then she started to talk to me in Japanese!!!
Then all students became so nice even though those who stepped on me, or elbowed me!!!
They were wondering what she is saying to me. I was just taking everything possible and it was
so much fun. I had a greatest time learning so much.

Then Yuriko became my NY mother, and her family became my NY family.
Her husband Charlie always asked me what I am doing, when I have some questions he
helped me to think differently and he wrote so many letters to my parents to allow me to
study one more year, and that kept on going... for few years... Her daughter Susan is like
my cousin. We became parters for our DVD project to create Martha Graham Dance technique
video, we released the first level in 2018, and now working on the next level.
To be continued...

# by miki3lotus | 2019-02-14 14:10 | Performing Art

2018 Happy Holidays!

December is a great month!
A lot of exciting energies are around.
Hope you are encountering healthy and happy December!

I want to let you know some exciting things that I am involving with.
First of all, my festival and third solo concert’s date is set.


NuVu Dance Festival
I am curating this dance festival with some idea behind.
Thursday May 2nd

Friday May 10
Details are coming later!
But I am extremely excited about this concert. I will be dancing Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Seiko Takata( my teacher), Konami Ishii( my mentor Yuriko’s teacher) and Yuriko’s work. This concert will show my background of American and Japanese modern dance, I will be very sore but I am so happy to be able to do this. Also my immediate teacher Nanako Yamada and a scholar Yasuko Kataoka are coming fro Japan to give lecture/panel discussion and master class workshops. In this workshops, Nanako will teach Dalcrose’s 20 gestures and/or “Mother” by Seiko.

from L to R, Martha, Doris, Seiko and Konami

Both are at La Guardia Performing Arts Center( LPAC ) in Long Island City.
It is very easy to get to!!!
31-10 Thomson Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101
( 718) 482-5151

I will take Resonance III to Vancouver (Sunday May 19th) and San Francisco and Madison, WI and more.

2019 will be a very interesting year for me. I will be involved with “Dance On” Project in Berlin Germany, Nu Vu Dance Festival and Resonance III. I will let you know the detail bit before each project.

Have a great Holiday Season!

* * * * *
Just a little of me~~~
My story was in Brighthouse Financial’s “Pursuing Passion”
Brighthouse site or Youtube

# by miki3lotus | 2018-12-19 05:01

Maria Horss


I posted in September 2006 when I danced Medea at Acropolis, Greece.
I met this lady right after the performance.
There is another Asian dancer so when she looked at me, I told her " I danced Medea"
since the other dancer danced lead in other dance.
She replied, "I know you danced Medea. I know the Dance. You are very good. Remember that."
Today, I connected a Greek friend on Facebook and I ask her about this lady.
My friend told me :
She was a very famous choreographer and musician!
She was the one who always choreographed the Olympic Flame ceremony in ancient Olympia!
She was one of the most famous choreographers and dancers of her generation!!!

So, I wanted to remember her so I will post this.
R.I.P. Maria Horss
I wish i had more times to meet her and learn from her...
Maria Horssという方だそうです。ギリシャで、一番有名な振付師だったそうです。



Maria Horss, who took part in the first Olympic flame lighting ceremony in Olympia in 1936 and was its choreographer for more than 40 years, recently passed away, according to the Greek Olympic Committee.

She was 94 years old and the last surviving “priestess” from the 1936 ceremony, according to Greek reports and insidethegames.

Horss was a young teen when she first associated with the Olympics in the lighting ceremony for the Berlin 1936 Games, the first to incorporate the torch relay.

She directed the artistic presentation of the ceremony from 1964 through 2006.

# by miki3lotus | 2018-12-17 06:45 | People

Summer 2018 and beyond

Summer 2018 and beyond

Summer was quite busy for me this year.
After "Resonance II" at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
,Stephen and I went to Vermont working with Charlotte Griffin. Working on a new project!
Vermont is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Then went to Berlin to visit friends, Paris to teach & meet more friends, and Amsterdam to meet Stephen and more friends!
L: Harumi, Sakurako, Jubal & Alex
R: "Graham for Europe" classes at Studio Harmonic

In August, I performed with Shiro Otake( Argentine Guitar), Stephen choreographed on Miyavi’s We Are The Others with Shiro’s arrangement at Japanese Ambassador to the UN’s residence in NYC. It was the finale of “Peace is … “event in thie season and it was called “ Peace is …Imagination”.
国連日本政府代表部の国連加入記念イベント"Peace is ..." は一度閉じることになり、最後は別所大使のレジデンスで行われ、私とアルゼンチンギターの大竹史郎さん、そしてSPの振り付けで踊りました。MIYAVIのWe are the othersという曲を大竹さんのアレンジです。

"Peace is ... Imagination"

Then I went to Tokyo.
Taught 3 day intensive at Japan Women’s College of Physical Education which I thought I would pass out… and few more one day workshops.

I performed Martha Graham’s Lamentation in Yokohama, along side with Megumi Nakamura and Yasuyuki Shuto, Japan’s well know dance artists. It is so nice to work with mature artists!!!
L:Megumi and R: Yasuyuki
This performance was the 20th anniversary of Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall - and since Lamentation is one of my favorite work of Martha’s and dancing this solo in Japan was quite big for me to achieve.

Back to US, I went to LA to work with LA Dance Project. Half of the company members are former students of Stephen so I knew them well so that was so nice to work with them on Martha’s work.
アメリカに戻り、すぐにロスに行きLA Dance Project のリハーサルに行きました。メンバーのはんぶんはSPの生徒だったダンサーたちで、楽しいリハーサルでした。彼らがマーサの作品をどう踊るのかも。

October was busy month. I was one of three visiting artists at UC Irvine’s
Cultural Resonance in Contemporary Bodies.
I danced Shirabyoshi and Lar Lubovitch’s solo from North Star.

I went to Berlin for audition/workshop in October. I will let you know all about this project! I am very excited about it.

And this weekend, I am visiting Columbus OH to attend the opening of
“Generations of Art: The Sunami Family” at Columbus Cultural Arts Center.

You have seen this Japanese photographer Soichi Sunami’s work for sure. He worked with many artists in NYC in 1920-40’s including Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Agnes de Mille and Martha. Some Japanese/Taiwanese Modern dancers too!!!

A few of Martha’s early dances was captured by him. I set her work called Heretic in which he took many pictures of and my friend Laura Puscas and her company ( Columbus Modern Dance Company) will dance Heretic in front of his pictures!!! With live piano accompaniment by Mariko Kaneda.


If you are in Columbus OH , check this exhibition! Sunami’s world is quite amazing!!!
May be see you there!!!

AND my Berlin Adventure will come soon!
Love to you all,

PS: Thank you for those of you who watched streaming of Hartt Dances this Fall. It was very special performances.

Upcoming events

Columbus Cultural Arts Center
November 30, 2018 - January 5, 2019
Opening Reception:
Friday, November 30 | 6-9 pm

139 W. Main Street
Columbus OH 43215
Mon 1pm-4pm , 7pm-10pm
Tue-Thu 9am-4pm , 7pm-10pm
Fri-Sat 9am-4pm
Sun Closed

# by miki3lotus | 2018-11-27 13:10 | 日常

Summer part 1

After Kaatsbaan performance, SP and i went to Vermont to work with Charlotte, Ariel and Meredith.
Here, All of us who are here to work, gather at the dinner. Cook and eat together.
Talk a lot about art, music, dance and food... and more.
This is SP's project. He made a fire pit and grill!
Every morning, I watched this family of wild turkey passing...
On the way back to NY, we stopped by William College's exhibition of "Dance We Must", Tresures from Jacob's Pillow 1906-1940. In this exhibition, they opened the tour box of Denishawn, and those pictures that I only saw in
the books, they had costumes to go with. Exciting to see the real color of those costumes.
ニューヨークへの帰り道に、ウィリアムカレッジでの "Dance We Must", Tresures from Jacob's Pillow 1906-1940
Denishawn & Men Dancing
L: Ted Shawn R: Ruth St. Denins
Then we went to Berlin
SP, Alex and I, going around Berlin. This summer, Europe is having a hot Summer!
Visited Geoffrey!
Harumi, Jubal, Sakurako and us
World Up, semi final...ワールドカップのセミファイナルでした。どこもかしこも人でいっぱい。
Then I went to Paris, just out side of Paris visiting my friend's. SP went to Amsterdam.
With Silvia
Makoto and Robert
With Joan.
with Claire, we studied together at Alvin Ailey School in 1980!
With Catayun
Taira now works at Hermes!!!
with Osamu, at his house at Fontainebleau
 Then Amsterdam そしてアムステルダム
Rebecca came to meet me!
Chad and Julia    チャドとジュリア
Ruben! ルーベン
Andrei アンドレイ
Mea and SP dancing for Joy!
Beautiful Exhibition " Classic Beauty" at Hermitage Museum
Canova's sculptures are AMAZING!!!

# by miki3lotus | 2018-07-26 21:43 | Travel

Resonance II

I premiered Resonance II in 2017.
And I performed at Kaatsbaan Intrnational Dance Center in Tivoli,NY.

2017年にResonance IIを発表。そして6月16日にカッツバーンにて公演。
Shirabyoshi (2017)
choreographed by Tanroh Ishida and Miki Orihara

Lamentation (1931)
Choreographed by M.Graham

A Solo From Scramble ( 1967)
Choreographed by Merce Cunningham
13 Illustarations out of order (2017)
Choreographed by Charlotte Griffin

I don'd have a picture of North Star from Kaatsbaan...
* * * * *

My team

# by miki3lotus | 2018-07-26 20:22

The day before wedding.

Luke is getting married!
SP's nephew Luke is getting Married. He found this beautiful woman Evy,

The day before the wedding, there was a rehearsal dinner. We were late to appear to the party...
so we missed the actual rehearsal but in this rehearsal, they are going thru :
who go first, where you go, what is the order... etc.
We got there just in time for this PARTY!
after the rehearsal, of course there is plenty of food!!!
We got there just in time for this PARTY!
Luke's father Gordon made a great BBQ!!! I wish I have a picture of his BBQ machine - pit?
He is SERIOUS!!! This was a semi pot-luck dinner. I wish i could show off with my Japanese but.. I like BBQ!!!
Kelsey planned and decorated her back yard( I don't call that back yard, it is a field!! )
There was trampoline, child games and more...
Evy gave a box to Gordon, for ceremony, Gordon will ware special thing!
Luke gave a box to Caleb, his brother who is one of his Groomsman
You can see, his tie, suspender and more in the box!
Evy gave Kelsey, her Bride's maid gift.
I can't wait to see their Bride's maid dress and Evy's wedding dress!!!
Family and friends gathering from far... it is so nice.
Tomorrow is the day!

# by miki3lotus | 2018-06-04 06:18 | Family

The inaugural Nu Vu festival

The Big Success for Nu Vu Festival!

Thank you so much for all who came to see and share with our artists.
These are some beautiful moments from the inaugural Nu Vu Fesitval on Thursday May 17th at LPAC Littel Theatre. And hope you will join next time if you missed it this time!!
Audience is coming in
Steven Hitt, the director of LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and curator Miki Orihara opening introduction
Opening ceremony by Kaoru Watanabe, performed Shinobue and Taiko Drum, it filled our space with beautiful sounds. Every culture and country has drum sound and dance. And so for me, dance and Drum are so
connected. So having him open our inaugural Nu Vu Festival was very special.
He put some heart beat - life in it.
For dance, we opened with a duet Sospiri by Jacqulyn Buglisi ( Buglisi Dance Theatre) Virginie Mecene and Kevin Predmore. A duet is almost like Romeo and Juliette of Argentine. When I was a young dancer, I danced Jacqulyn's work at the Graham School, when she had a baby I dance a lot of her roles in the Graham
company, and I danced in Buglisi Foreman Dance and met my husband Stephen. I learn so much dancing in her works - physically and mentally both.
Masha Dashkina Maddux made a beautiful solo First Movement, inspired by Dancing Angel foundation's
founder;s story. Real story. When I met her, she was a very young, out of college, came tin to the Graham
company, I watched how she worked and I shared a lot of with her. Now she is in North Carolina, working as
a freelance dancer, and founded Wake Forest Dance Festival which opened last year. She has a hidden drive
to make things happens.
Lisa Thurrell brought her company, Kanopy Dance Company, from Madison, WI. Excerpts from her Miserere, gave sense of inside of church, lit with candle light at LPAC Stage! I know Lisa for a long time. I am inspired by what she does with her school and company. She and her husband Robert Cleary educate dancers, parents and audiences. Give them so much opportunities to learn from many masters' work, and new masters' work and how to be a dancer, dance artist.
Charlotte Griffin's Real, Ideal danced by Calvin Bittner of Vivid Ballet. Charlotte saw something very special about Calvin, his sensitivity, wit and dreamer of him came out in this solo.
Space Between is a beautiful contemporary duet by Isaac Lerner. Danced with Marjorie Gross and Isaac himself. Both of them graduated from the Hartt School where my husband Stephen Pier is the director and I also teach at the school. Now he is choreographing for Opera Company in Iowa, his work is taking him all over.
*Space Between was made possible by the Rader Foundation for Young Artists.
I met Troy Ogilvie when she was about 13, dancing in NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble. She went to the Juilliard, she was a manor force for Gallim Dance, worked with Sleep No More and more. Now she presents solo works. She is exploring. I love watching her journey. And this work a girl by Roy Assaf is so Troy. I was so happy to present her in Nu VU Festival. I can't wait to see what she is going to next!!!
Jacqueline Dugal is one of the participants of Emerging Choreographer Series at LPAC directed by
Nicola Iervasi and Kevin Albert. I was on the panel, watched her work developed, and now ti see her finished
( or on going work!) work under was so interesting and happy to see it.
She brought 4 original dancers( Desiree Amadeo, Jessica Stroh, Louisa Pancoast and Issac Lerner)
and she herself danced in it.
With Tuce Yasak's lighting direction, it gave the idea of under water,
or under pressure, under all emotions.
*under was made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
*under was developed during Mare Nostrum Elements' Emerging Choreographer Series.
We closed our evening with Kaoru's Taiko and Shinobue.
But this time, with dancers improvised all over the theatre!
All artists come together
All artists come together.
This is what I wanted.
Old to New
New to Old
Culture to culture
Artist to artist
Dancer to dacner
Human Being to human being!!!

At the after the performance reception, we can connect many friends, family, new friends... it was a great evening. Thank you ,Stephen Pier, Brad Orego and Yurie Anai for volunteering for this festival!!!

Thank you everybody at LPAC/staff
Steven Hitt for your vision, encouragement and having us!

Now I am going to see many more dances to find dance artists for
Nu Vu Festival 2019!!!
all photo by Tokio Kuniyoshi

# by miki3lotus | 2018-05-22 06:36 | Dance

Graham Technique DVD

Dear All,

I am so happy to announced that project that I have been working on is finally out to the world. This is the first step!!!
A lot of you are wondering where to purchase this DVD and here is the information.
Please go to the www.dancespotlight.com to order a copy for you/your students and school library!!!

The video introduces you to the important elements of Graham technique: the contraction, release and spiral, driven by the torso and pelvis with the use to the breath and the floor. As in the typical Graham class, the exercises are divided into 3 sections: Floor Work, Standing and Across the Floor. The technique is excellent performance training - physically sound and emotionally expressive. The technique in this video was directed by Miki Orihara, a principal dancer with the Graham Company for over 27 years, and the Associate Dance Director, Susan Kikuchi, a former member of the Graham Company and Director of the Graham Ensemble and School.
The running time for the exercises is about 1 hour.
Plus there are two very enlightening sections of edited interviews of former Graham dancers giving the Essentials of the Graham Technique and their perspective on Teaching Graham.
Interviews : Robert Cohan, janet Eilber, Penny Frank, Mary Hinkson, Linda Hodes, Stuart Hodes, Peggy Lyman Hayes, Virginie Mécène, Kevin Predmore, Ethel Winter and Yuriko.

Dancers: Masha Maddux, Oliver Tobin, Lloyd Knight, Lauren Newman, Lucy Postell, Lloyd Mayor, Miki Orihara
Original Music: Rick Kivnick ( music only CD purchase )
Voice Over: Susan Kikuchi and Stephen Pier

Video Total running time: 2 hours

Film Trailer: Shortand Long

Website: www.dancespotlight.com

Direct Link: MGDT or Miki

Order a copy for your students and school library!


DVD $30 + Shipping and Handling
CD $15 + Shipping and Handling

# by miki3lotus | 2018-04-02 00:02 | Dance

Martha Graham Dance Technique DVD Beginner Level release reception

Release Reception @ WestBeth Martha Graham Studio
From L to R: Stephen Pier (Voice Over), Susan Kikuchi ( Associate Dance Director and Voice Over), Miki, Emi Tokunaga (former Boston Conservatory Director), Rick Kivnik ( Music composer) and Yasuko Tokunaga ( former Boston Conservatory Director and Jose Limon Dance Licensing director)
Marnie Thomas, Anna Marie Forsythe, Ellen Graff and Miki
Q&A with Dance Spotlight Producer and Director, Babette Coffey Fisch and Jeanne Suggs, Ellen, Susan and Miki
Full house audience!
Lucy in Red
My team!!!
Lucy Postell, Lauren Newman, Oliver Tobin, Miki, Keiko Voltaire, Jacqueline Bulness and Masha Maddux

It was a great evening!!!

# by miki3lotus | 2018-03-08 05:37 | Dance