Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company, a unique group, bridges Eastern and Western as well as contemporary and ancient cultures. Throughout its 33-year history of continuous creative, performing and educational activities across the U. S. and abroad, it has reached out not only to the general public but also to young and old, and disadvantaged individuals. The company has contributed to the aesthetic development of dance incorporating cultural heritage strongly influenced by Japanese tradition into a framework of contemporary dance.
Among the highlights of the company’s activities are performances at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. (1979, 1980, 1994, 1999, 2001); New National Theater, Tokyo (2001); Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Family Program, Chicago (1997); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (1978,1979, 2000, 2002, 2003); Japan Festival, Dublin, OH (1998, 1999, 2001), First Asian contemporary Dance Festival, NYC (1993); International Festival of Five Continents, Venezuela (1993, 1995); New National Theater in Tokyo (2001); and programs introducing ancient Japanese robe JUNIHITOE (1989 at Asia Society, NYC and 1995 at Japan Society, NYC); University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Montana, Missoula; Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville; Wright University, Dayton; Towson University, MD; Bryn Mawr College, PA are among numerous education institutions the company performed.
Since 1978, Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company has worked for many Art-in-Education programs: 10 years in NYC, 11 years in cities in Virginia, occasionally in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas.
It’s television appearances include Fox 5’s “Good Day New York.,” WPIX’s “Best Talk,” JOMX-Tokyo’s 500th Celebration of “From Your Town” and PBS’s “Live by Satellite: Japanese Performing Arts in America,” In 2001, a video record “30-year Activities in New York City” was created. Copies of the video were donated to libraries, which have free access to general public for viewing. This project was supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Challenge Program.
To serve community, Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company has performed in projects such as Dance Responds Aids, Fulbright International Youth Conference, Anniversaries of the NYC-Tokyo Sister City Friendship, Inter-Faith Peace Gathering, Memorial Performance of September 11, 2001 and others.
Among the company’s appearances in Washington, D.C. are at the Sylvan Theater, Washington Monument Grounds for the First Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, at the Baird Auditorium in Smithsonian during the Asia Society’s tour, at the National Press Club for an event, at Japanese Ambassador’s residence on the occasion of a dinner party for Vice President and Mrs. Al Gore, and at The Kennedy Center for several occasions including the opening week program of the Terrace Theater.
Since 1998 the board of Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company has been presenting its Cultural Bridge Award to distinguished individuals who have contributed to cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. The Award is an original artwork symbolizing a bridge of cultures and a Certificate. Among the past recipients are Prof. Donald Keene, scholar of Japanese Literature; Maestro Kurt Masur, former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic: Hisashi Yamada, Master of Urasenke Tea Ceremony Institute; Beate Gordon, former Director of Performing Arts of Asia Society and Japan Society; Midori, Violinist; and Masayuki Suo, Director of Film “Shall We Dance?”