Anri Nakano - New York


Photo by Dante Albertie

Artist Biography

Anri Nakano is a dancer/choreographer originally from Fukuoka, Japan. She started her life as a performer when she became a member of a Children’s Musical Company in Fukuoka at the age of 7. In 2000, she won the second prize at the Jazz Dance Art Association’s annual competition in Tokyo under the direction of Saira Kaminaga. In 2001, She became one of the background dancers for Ayumi Hamasaki, one of the most famous Japanese pop singers in Asia and continued until 2003. She moved to New York City in 2007 to explore her intense passion for Dance. She decided to attend CUNY Lehman College where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance/Theatre in 2011 with honors from Golden Key and Susan May Wilson Prize for outstanding contribution to the Theatre Department. She's done various productions and presented her own choreographic works at Lehman College. She toured Venezuela in 2009 with a Physical Theatre/Pantomime Company where she performed and taught workshops at local schools, churches and festivals. She has performed in work by Saira Kaminaga, Amy Larimer, Laura Peterson, Nicholas Leichter, Kelley Donovan, Rodger Belman, Liz Glynn, Darcy Naganuma, Adele Myers, and Anabella Lenzu. Her own work has been performed at Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Peridance Capezio Center, HB Studio, and Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance. Her new solo work will be presented at Triskelion Arts in New York as a part of WAXworks series in January 2013.

Artist Statement

I dance simply to share my joy, passion, and energy. Other time, I explore the deepest emotions in myself, and I seek the answer for a question that comes up to me. With the use of my body, I create movement that allows my inner self to be seen because I want people to feel something when they see me dance. I see dance as a way of exchanging humanity, not just as a way of entertaining. Therefore, what happens in my life and in the world is somehow connected to what I portray in my dance. What I love about dance is that there is no use of language involved. Because of that, dance is universal and borderless. I make dance to make visible my philosophy, imagination and curiosity, so that people can receive the message through their eyes and have it transmitted to their mind and soul.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?

I am hoping to meet artists from all over the world. It will be a great experience to see their work and to get feedback of my work from the audience in California. I would like to have a conversation with each artist and talk about our work and creative process. I would also like to exchange thoughts about what we can bring to the society as a dancer.
Have you participated in Festivals before? If so, what worked and what didn't work for you? What would you like to see more or less of?
No, I have not participated in the festival before.
Verbal Description of the work you would like to bring "Just Be Imaginative" is a dance piece created and performed by Anri Nakano. The length of the piece is approximately 10 minutes. It starts with the sight of umbrellas clumped together upstage. There are going to be 2 songs used in the piece; one is a slow-tempo, flowing, instrumental music, and the other one is a rhythmic, lighthearted song. The lighting is soft in the beginning then gets brighter as the piece progresses. I created this piece based on one of the memories in my childhood. The story begins in the front yard of my parents’ home in Fukuoka, Japan. Since Fukuoka is located on the southern part of Japan, rainy season and typhoons (tropical storm) visit the city in the early summer. My mother would lay out umbrellas in our front yard on a cloudless day so that they could dry out and be prepared for the next rainy day. It was typical to see this sight during that time of the year. Every time I saw this family of umbrellas sunbathing on the grass of our front yard, I got pretty excited. One day, I decided to gather them all in one spot and make a tent. Inside it was cramped, but I felt secure. It was warm and nice inside. I was happy that I created a new little world just for myself. In this dance, I’m not trying to be a 7 year old again. I explore deep into my memory to bring out the pure pleasure of making spontaneous choices and simply play. Creating dance is similar to what I did when I was a child. Being imaginative and playing hard. This piece is abstract, poetic, and intriguing. It might remind people of their childhood or something completely different. I hope to give the audience some space to be “imaginative” in their own ways.