A cross cultural, cross generational, storytelling experience connecting Tokyo and San Francisco through contemporary dance, film, and jazz
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Sophia Noel is a contemporary dancer based in Tokyo with Hip-Hop, Salsa, Swing, and Ballet in her repertoire. Graduating from Columbia University, she joined the marketing team at Airbnb headquarters and in addition served as the director of the internal dance program, teaching classes, choreographing and producing performances. In 2019, curiosity around the Japanese language sparked the idea to book a one way ticket to Tokyo where she now performs, choreographs, teaches, and more.
Born and raised in California, Akira Tana earned degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music. There he performed in both classical and jazz idioms, playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and student ensembles as well as with musicians such as Helen Humes, Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins, George Russell, and Sonny Stitt. Tana recorded frequently as a sideman in the 1980s, and began releasing albums as a leader in the 1990s. Currently he is a professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Based part of the year in Japan and part of the year in his hometown Oakland, CA, Tarquin is an international videographer, photographer and editor, at the intersection of the classical arts, documentary, and street dance. Tarquin grew up to the sounds of the Oakland underground before studying architecture at La Villette in Paris, France. His experience in design led him over the last decade to help build YAK Films into an internationally acclaimed video production company capturing new forms of street dance emerging from the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Sayuri, co-choreographer of the live performance "TONARI" is a Tokyo-based dancer and choreographer specializing in ballet, jazz, contemporary and house. Sayuri began her career as a professional dancer while still a student at Keio University, and while working for Recruit. Sayuri has performed and choreographed in various TV shows, commercials, events and stages and has performed with great artists. In the past few years, she has expanded her range of expression by appearing as an actress and model in commercials and video productions.
Lee Gumbs started dancing at age 5 and by 7 he received scholarships for ballet & jazz classes. He went on to win numerous regional & national dance competitions. At 16 he was the first boy chosen by Dance Spirit magazine as 1 of the top 3 cover models out of thousands of entries. Lee became an alumni of the Young Arts and attended Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. He has been a guest performer in multiple Nutcrackers and Gala's. At 18 Lee started performing with Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance touring numerous countries around the world with the hit show Rock the Ballet and more recent show Romeo & Juliet. Lee has danced behind Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, Camilla Cabello and also got to be a part of Disney's 60th anniversary special on ABC dancing for Kelsea Ballerini and also a number with Derek Hough, Travis Wall and legend Dick Van Dyke. Lee also had the pleasure of touring with contemporary company Shaping Sound. He performed on Ellen for band Panic At the Disco, and was a part of the 2017 Oscars. Lee danced in a video for Five Seconds of Summer and can be seen dancing with Beyoncé in her video “Spirit” in Black is King.
In America’s hyper-sensitive racial climate, art forms and energies tend to be landlocked. Often public reactions confine artists and audiences by their backgrounds: your identity becomes a barrier of what you can create and what you can enjoy. Sentiments of gatekeeping, “Black music is only for black people” or “Only Japanese people can wear kimonos” are pervasive. Meanwhile, Japan’s physical borders have been closed from the rest of the world for over two years which has created challenges for artists in Japan to exchange and showcase Japanese culture on the global stage.
This piece seeks to explore new ways for performing arts to connect cultures and people together for learning and creation by merging physical with digital culture, fusing traditional with contemporary art forms and forging a pathway for Tokyo, San Francisco, Black and Japanese art exchange for the first time. With this piece, we must break open these borders. This is not cultural appropriation, this is unabashedly pushing forward culture, together.
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$100 - $1000
$100 - $1000
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Early access to Tokyo and SF live performance tickets
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Exclusive dinner with the artists and director
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