IT HAPPENED IN THE SPRING OF 1970
To support a Japanese student in NYC, the Japan Society arranged a performance in Philadelphia for Saeko Ichinohe. With heartfelt appreciation, Saeko invited the director of Performing Arts of the Japan Society, Beate Gordon to the final dress rehearsal at the Julliard School's dance studio.
She liked the program very much and persuaded Saeko not to return to Tokyo but to start a career in the U.S.
The Tale of Genji
Prince Genji woos the Lady Murasaki
Choreography: Saeko Ichinohe
Photo © Haruo Tomiyama
Incorporating the essence of culture and tradition of Japan into a contemporary dance aesthetic,
the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company has been performing original works over three decades nationally and internationally.
Located in New York City, the company performs annually in the city.
The New York performances this season:
The Tale of Genji
The Ailey Citigroup Theatre
The Joan Weill Centre for Dance.
November 22 and 23, 2008.
Highlights of the Company's Activities
- The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.)
- Japan America Theater (Los Angeles)
- University of Montana (Missoula)
- Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Family Program (Chicago)
- Philadelphia Museum of Arts (Philadelphia)
- First Asian Contemporary Dance Festival at La MaMa (NYC)
- Festival Internacional de Teatro de Oriente (Venezuela)
- Tokyo New National Theater and Hirosaki Citizens' Hall (Japan)
- Television Appearances include PBS's "Live by Satellite: Japanese Performing Arts in America" , WPIX's "Best Talk", JOMX-Tokyo's " From Your Town", and Fox 5's "Good Day New York."
American - Japanese collaborations
- 1985: Performance with American and Japanese music ensembles for the 25th Anniversary of NYC - Tokyo Sister City Friendship
- 1989 and 1995: With the participation of kimono experts from Tokyo, presentations of junihitoe, an elaborate multi-layered costume worn 1,000 years ago.
- 1994: Performances at the Kennedy Center featuring a Neputa-e backdrop, and in the lobby gigantic floating lanterns - Neputa
- 1998: Collaboration of Asian artists (Korean, Chinese and Japanese)
- 2001: Company Tour to Tokyo and Hirosaki to present "The Tale of Genji"
In 1978, the company began Arts-in-Education programs in NYC, introducing Japanese culture to future generations of Americans. The programs were also presented in cities in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
Currently a residency program to complement a social studies curriculum "Japan" is available.
Cultural Bridge Awards
Since 1998 the Company has been presenting its Cultural Bridge Award to distinguished individuals who have contributed to cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan. Among the past recipients are Prof. Donald Keene, Maestro Kurt Masur, Harold Prince, Rev. Eido Shimano, Master Hisashi Yamada, Yuriko, The Tokyo String Quartet and actress Celeste Holm.