Kota Yamazaki

In 1977, Yamazaki was introduced to butoh through the teaching of Akira Kasai; then in 1981 started studying classical ballet under the late Hirofumi in Inoue. He graduated from Bunka Fashion College with BA in Fashion Design.

In 1989, Yamazaki was invited to work with Daniel Larrieu at CNDC in Angers, France; then became a finalist in The Platform of Bognolet Competition in France in 1994. He was invited to join in the TAP (Triangle Arts Program) artist exchange program in 1997. Since Yamazaki established his Tokyo-based company, rosy co. in 1996, the company was invited to perform national and international festivals and theaters including Bunkamura Theater Cocoon (Tokyo), New National Theater (Tokyo), Indonesian Dance Festival, The Place Theater (London), Biennale Nationale de Danse Val-de Marine (France), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Buena Center for the Arts, and Yorkshire Dance Festival. With the invitation from Germaine Acogny to create a new work for Senegal-based company Jant-bi, Yamazaki decided to close rosy co. in 2001, and left Japan.

At the six-time residencies in Senegal during 2001-2004, Yamazaki created a new work, FAGAALA, in collaboration with Germaine Acogny, for her company Jant-bi. FAGAALA was presented around the world for 4 years since its sensational premiere. In 2007, Yamazaki received the New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie Award) for its choreography with Germaine Acogny.

At the same time, Yamazaki moved his base to New York, and started creating new works with NY-based troupe, Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug. The company has performed national and international venues including Melbourne International Arts Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, PICA/TBA Festival, FIAF/Crossing Line, Bates Dance Festival, Danspace Project, ASU Gammage, NUS for the Arts (Singapore), Globalize: Cologne (Germany), 92Y Harkness Dance Festival, Painted Bride Art Center, Andy Warhol Museum, The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago and Japan Society. Yamazaki also has created choreographic works for national and international dance companies, theater companies and students at universities.

During these years, Yamazaki has taught at Bennington College, Barnard College at Columbia University, Arizona State University, National University of Arts in Korea, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tokyo Zoukei University, Kinki University, Earthdance, CAVE, Vangeline Theater, Movement Research Festival among many other national and international universities, festivals and institutions.

His projects have been supported by Japan Foundation, New England Foundation’s National Dance Project, Asian Cultural Council, The Saison Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Harkness Foundation for Dance.

In 2013, Yamazaki received the FCA award (the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant Award) for his artistic achievements in New York, and is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship of 2016. He has been serving as Director for Body Arts Laboratory in Tokyo since 2009, and organizes Whenever Wherever Festival.

Visiting Artist | November 9 - 22, 2017

Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination

Japanese artist Kota Yamazaki comes to MANCC to develop Part 2 of his Darkness Odyssey trilogy, which explores the idea of the body as black hole, absorbing all that it encounters. Yamazaki will utilize the Japanese somatic practice of Noguchi Taiso as a process of absorbing and filtering the encounters of the body. Source material for the work comes from the writings of seminal French thinkers, Deleuze and Guattari, butoh artist Tatsumi Hijikata’s “dance of darkness,” and Japanese goze music.

Part 2: I or Hallucination will combine dance, philosophy, and folklore to portray our ever-changing internal landscapes and illuminate the fluidity of our identities. Japanese goze music, which are folk songs played on the Shamisen, a three-string Japanese banjo, will be a component of the work. Historically, women born blind in the Goze region were trained in this musical idiom, and it became known as the music of their hardships, spirit, and life.

Yamazaki will work with four performers with significantly different body types and movement practices to represent the unique perspectives of the goze musicians. While at MANCC, Yamazaki will experiment with a scenic design that covers the entire stage in silver material. Master lighting designer Thomas Dunn will develop a lighting plot that creates illusionary dark layers to represent the world of these blind women.

As a part of MANCC’s Embedded Writers Initiative, Yamazaki and his collaborators will be joined by Moriah Evans. This initiative, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to support the re-imaging of dance writing conventions in order to better respond to and engage with a wider range of ever-evolving contemporary forms in dance and performance.

This residency is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination will premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center on December 13-15, 2017

  • Photos Coming Soon
Collaborators in Residence: Kota Yamazaki [Choreographer], Mina Nishimura [Assistant to Choreographer/ Performer], Raja Kelly [Performer], Julian Barnett [Performer], Joanna Kotze [Performer], Kenta Nagai [Composer], Thomas Dunn [Lighting Designer]

World Premiere

Cynthia Oliver

Virago-Man Dem
October 25 - 28
BAM Fisher (NYC)


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