Kota Yamazaki/Fluid Hug-Hug

Fluid Hug-Hug

I decided to name my dance troupe Fluid hug-hug because I believe that people are fluid and should flow like water so that exchange between those from different backgrounds can become easier and freer. With this philosophy in mind, my projects welcome performers from different cultural and training backgrounds. Also influential to my choreography are elements drawn from my own background – butoh-based somatic practices, Japanese aesthetics and cultural references, and Buddhist teachings such as “one equals many, many equals, one.” My works aims to explore new ways to internalize varying begins. Different from fusing or mixing forms, my goal is to find an ‘inter-being-ness’ of different cultures, bodies, and perspectives. I am interested in creating an alternate space where different bodies can co-exist. And I would like to see the world in a kinder and softer light rather than as an assemblage of clearly separated fragments that come with specific names and classifications, and want to believe that this way of working with disparate bodies can offer a new way of looking at and unifying the divided world we live in.

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Kota Yamazaki

Born in Niigata, Japan, Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh under the teaching of Akira Kasai at the age of 18 after trained as a music conductor, then graduated from Bunka Fashion College with BA in Fashion Design. Yamazaki was invited to work with Daniel Larrieu at CNDC in 1989 in Angers, France and was introduced to Avignon Festival and the Nouvelle Danse for the first time. In 1994, Yamazaki became a finalist in the platform of Bognolet choreographic competition (the International de Bagnolet Councours) in France for his second choreographic work Reflection. He was also invited to join in the TAP (Triangle Arts Program) artist exchange program in 1997. With the program coordinated by Asian Cultural Council and the Saison Foundation, Yamazaki spent one month in the United States and Indonesia respectively.


Since Yamazaki established his Tokyo-based company rosy co. in 1996, the company was invited to perform nationally and internationally by theaters and festivals such as Place Theater (England), Yorkshire Dance Festival (England), Biennale de Nationale de Dane Val-de Marine (France), Buena Center for the Arts (CA), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (MA), Bates Dance Festival (MA), Indonesian Dance Festival and Bunkamura Theater Cocoon (Japan).


With the invitation from Germain Acogny to create a work FAGAALA in collaboration with her Senegal-based company, Yamazaki disbanded his Tokyo-based company rosy co., which he led from 1995-2001, and relocated himself to New York. Since 2003, Yamazaki with New York-based Fluid hug-hug has been presenting work at national and international theaters and festivals such as Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), NUS for the Arts (Singapore), Globalize: Cologne (Germany), PICA/TBA Festival (OR), Dance Theater Workshop (NY), New York Live Arts (NY), Danspace Project (NY), Andy Warhol Museum (PA), Miami Light Project, Wesleyan University (CT), UC San Diego, ASU Gammage (AZ), FIAF/Crossing Line (NY), Wesleyan University (CT), and Japan Society (NY).


Yamazaki is a recipient of The New York Dance and Performance Awards (the Bessie Award) of 2007, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant award of 2013, NYFA Fellowship of 2016, Guggenheim Fellowship of 2018 and two-time The Herb Alpert Award nominee.


Throughout these years, Yamazaki has been teaching at universities and for local communities around the world, and organizes cross-disciplinary Whenever Wherever Festival in Tokyo since 2009 while serving as Director for Body Arts Laboratory, the first artist-run organization in Tokyo.