Mikuni Yanaihara

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About the artist

Born 1971, Choreographer/Playwright/Director/Dancer
Yanaihara started dancing in high school. After graduating from the Department of Dance, Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, she went to Brazil, where she learned about vernacular dance traditions at several universities. When she came back, she studies film production at Tokyo Film Arts School. In 1997, she formed Nibroll with a group of artists in the fields of dance, dress design, film, fine arts, music and journalism, thus launching her career as the leader of an innovative artistic group and its choreographer. In 1998, “Let’s go to the Hayashi’s” (first production of town series) was awarded the Ryoichi Enomoto Arts Award at “Labo 20,” ST spot Yokohama. “No Parking” (2000) was accepted for the Tokyo Thousand Years Culture and Arts Festival. The following year, it was awarded the National Conference Award at Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine- Saint-Denis Yokohama Platform. In 2002, Yanaihara released “Coffee.” The piece was performed in Europe, the US and Asia. In 2004, “Note” participated in Laokoon Summer Festival (Hamburg, Germany). In 2005, “Dry Flower” was invited by the contemporary art space Kitchen (NY). For the 10th anniversary of Nibroll, “Romeo OR Juliet” was performed at Setagaya Public Theater, which won the Japan Dance Forum Award.
Apart from the stage works, Yanaihara also creates video arts with Keisuke Takahashi under the name of ”Off Nibroll” . For the installation they created for the exhibition “Roppongi Crossing,” they have been awarded the Mori Art Museum Jury’s Prize. Off Nibroll has been invited to various international art festivals such as Shanghai Biennale, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial and Taipei Artist Village.
   In 2005, Yanaihara started her solo theater project. Mikuni Yanaihara Project debuted with “San-nen Ni-kumi (Third grader in the second class group),” a piece produced for the opening of Kichijoji Theater,. The work was also staged during the Theater Festival at Aichi Prefectural Art Theater in 2008. In the same year, “ The Blue Bird”was nominated as a finalist for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award. The piece has also been featured at the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Theater Collection in 2009.
   Her borderless, genre-crossing performances have been enthusiastically received by both the contemporary dance and theatre scenes in Japan.

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