Mika Yanagihara was born in Japan and began her training in modern ballet as a child. She is trained in modern ballet, jazz, hip-hop, african, house and contemporary dance. In 1997 she was awarded a scholarship and teens scholarship at Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and performed with the Martha Graham Company for their NY season at the Joyce Theater. Mika has worked with numerous choreographers in NY included Diane McCarthy, Laurie De Vito, Sasha Soreff, Doug Elkins, Parijat Desai and Patricia Noworol, performed, taught in Japan, Germany, India, Holland and Sweden. She is thankful to Nicole Philippidis for all the opportunities working with her for 10 years as a dancer, costume designer, rehearsal directer as well as a choreographer of 277danceproject.
How do you connect with the work Cardboard Stage?
It's life in NY. Things come and go quickly, it is a fast pace. You are always surrounded by hundreds of people and things but you are alone and lonely. You have freedom to be the real you and selfish but you are also always somehow connected to people and things around you. So much going on always with so much powerful energy both good and bad. Its hard to not get affected and stay neutral and easy to get confused, depressed and struggle. Yet you are somewhat comfortable and addicted to it and not sure if you wanna leave or how.
What are the challenges and joys of being a dance artist in NYC?
Challenges: There are too many dancers/companies competing to be seen. It is important for me to keep growing as an artist, while remaining passionate about what I do. It is expensive to maintain my body and a dancer's income doesn't cover the cost, it is also tough being an immigrant.
Joys: You can connect with so many kinds of artists/people from all over the world easily and there are lots of possibilities for collaboration.
Mika Yanagihara will be performing in Cardboard Stage - October 18, 19, 20 at 8pm
Triskelion Arts - 106 Calyer Street, Brooklyn NY. Tickets on Sale Now!
Photo: Anjola Toro