Yayoi Kambara, Founder
I BELIEVE DANCE CAN ELEVATE BOTH THE DANCER AND THE AUDIENCE TO A STATE OF HOPE-FULNESS WHEN SOCIETY'S ILLS SEEM INSURMOUNTABLE; IT IS THROUGH CREATING DANCES THAT I AIM TO MAKE SENSE OF LIFE.
I MOVE TOWARDS WHAT MOVES ME.
Yayoi Kambara has been a Bay Area Artist since 2000, moving to San Francisco after receiving her B.A. in East Asian Studies from Lawrence University and her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She was a company member with ODC/Dance under the direction of Brenda Way and KT Nelson for 12 years from 2003–2015 and has freelanced with numerous companies in Bay Area. The founding of KAMBARA + DANCERS in 2015 was a big year of transition from performing artist to choreographer.
With KAMBARA + DANCERS she is interested in the authentic voice of the body and its inherent identity in performance. She focuses her choreography on diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic differences by creating space for empathy and dialogue. In a world becoming alarmingly more conservative and segregated, taking time to create with a diverse cast is her way of preserving optimism as dance can represent the ineffable resiliency of the human spirit to continue in the face of uncertainty.
Yayoi Kambara was the recipient of the 2016 CA$H Grant for Individual Artists for On Trust, a performance installation in collaboration with Filmmakers David and Hi-jin Hodge, and Composer Joan Jeanrennaud. The installation performance was recently on view in the lobby of ZSpace as well as the Asian Art Museum. Kambara was also awarded the 2016 Kenneth Rainin Foundation for Self Producing Artists for KAMBARA + DANCERS inaugural home season at ODC Theater in January 19-21, 2018.
Most recently she received the 2017 CA$H Grant recipient for Individual Artists for the development of IKKAI:Once, a statement about the meaning of democracy, juxtaposed with representations of the discrimination and injustice incurred by Japanese-Americans resulting from the induction of Executive Order 9066.
KAMBARA + DANCERS has recently performed Mardi Gras with Garrison Keillor at Nourse Auditorium, the Asian Art Museum, and commissioned at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.