Nami Yamamoto, originally from Matsuyama, Japan, graduated from New York University in 1993 with a MA in Dance and Dance Education. Since then her work has been presented in New York and elsewhere: Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, P.S. 122, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Kitchen, Roulette, Gibney Dance Center, Walker Art Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Museum of the Art in Philadelphia, Studio 303 in Montreal, UC Irvine, Dance Studio Moga in Japan and Contemporary Dance Festival Free Dance in Ukraine. In October, 2018, her most recent work, Headless Wolf which was presented at Roulette in October 2017 was awarded as the New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie Awards ) for an Outstanding Production.
Currently, she is participating a Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s warehouse and will be showing her work in progress in May 30- June 2, 2019. She teaches at New York City Public School through Movement Research’s Dance Makers program.
Her work has been funded by Manhattan Community Arts Fund from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2007), Jim Henson Foundation (2007), Creative Capital (2006), Puffin Foundation (2002) and Suitcase Fund from Dance Theater Workshop (2001 and 2008). She has been nurtured and inspired by her residency experience at Movement Research (2014-2016), Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2003-2005, 2012-2013), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (2008), Summer Theater Lab in UC Santa Barbara (2006), Dance Wave in Matsuyama Japan (2002), Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2001) and Asian Pacific Performance Exchange in UCLA (1997, 1999).
Her work has been commissioned by The Wooden Floor (formerly know as Saint Joseph Ballet) in 2006 and 2009 and she choreographed two original pieces for more than 50 young dancers age 10-18. Other commissioned works are for BaxCo, a youth company at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2010 and YUMESENYA, a youth company from Matsuyama, Japan in 2012. In 2015, she choreographed a piece with the students from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts as a Movement Research Artist in Residence.
She has also nurtured and inspired by collaboration works with Joyce S. Lim and received Space grant from Union Street Dance, 92nd Street Y and SUNY Purchase for In/Flux in 2003. In 2005, she traveled in Malaysia with Joyce S. Lim to explore with local artists in Penang.
For teaching credit, she taught Master Class at Long Island University (2017), Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School (2016), Ehime University (2000-present), Dance Studio Moga in Japan (1998 – present), University of California Irvine (2006), University of Penang and Malaysian Dance Festival in Malaysia (2005), Matsuyama University (2002) and Dance Wave in Matsuyama, Japan (2002). She also taught a creative movement class for children at East Village Community School (2015), Brooklyn New School (2005) and MASS MoCA (2000). Through her puppetry/dance work, a howling flower, she taught a puppetry/dance workshop with her collaborators, Matthew Acheson (puppet creator/puppeteer/performer) and Deana Acheson (puppetry advisor) at various venues, such as Sara Lawrence College, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, Contemporary Dance Festival Free Dance in Ukraine, The New York Robotics and Home Automation MeetUp Group and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. She also co-taught object/puppet/ dance workshop with Patti Bradshaw and Christopher Williams through Movement Research’s Sunday Process Lab (2016).
As a dancer, she has enjoyed working with wonderful choreographers such as Yoshiko Chuma, David Dorfman, Patricia Hoffbauer, Clarinda Mac Low, Victoria Marks, David Neumann, Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig, Karen Sherman, Cydney Wilkes, Christopher Williams, Yasuko Yokoshi and many others. In 2004, she debuted as a puppeteer in Dan Hurlin’s Hiroshima Maiden, which toured in 2005-2006. She also performed for Lake Simon’s puppet piece, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Here Art Center. In 2014, she debuted at Lincoln Center Theater as a puppeteer/dancer of The Oldest Boy written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Rebecca Taichman.
“The dynamite dancer Nami Yamamoto (is) a sentient presence hurling herself
through the air…”Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
“Yamamoto’s a human projectile – not a sleek rocket, but a compact ball of energy.” Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
“The work illuminate the absurdity of the world we live in…shocking, humorous, and also somehow profound.”
Kelly Hayes, offoffoff.com
“…exceptionally delicate physical and emotional articulation” Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times