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November 2023: Tomoyo Yamada
Who is Tomoyo Yamada in a sentence?
I am a performer and choreographer who enjoys daydreaming and imagining the “what if….” in life.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
The base of my work is dance and movement, ranging from trained dance techniques to everyday gestural movement. However most of my recent works are interdisciplinary, with elements from theatre, film, and comedy sprinkled to support my storytelling.
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve been dancing for nearly 27 years, starting with ballet, tap, and jazz. In my later teens I began venturing into rhythmic gymnastics, modern, contemporary, and musical theatre styles.
How does dance fit into your life currently?
Dance is part of my lifestyle, and it is not just about physical movement. Much of my rigorous dance training was in Japan where dance principles were not just applied in the studio, but also beyond the rehearsal space. The values dance has taught me very much make up who I am today.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Dance has allowed me to make friends as a child, when I could not communicate smoothly due to my lack of language abilities. It has also helped me gain confidence in sharing ideas with others.
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices over these last few years?
Not every day (I’m never good with routine, which I should start working on getting better at…..), but I do enjoy dancing a warm-up routine that I learned in my high school years. It’s been more than 12 years since graduating and the routine is a reminder of where I started, and what my values were. It is nice to be able to connect with that past self.
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
The most significant benefit to being a Dance Centre Member is to have the connection with the dance community here in Vancouver, and to have the support to create and share work. The Dance Centre has been supportive in my artistic journey since the day I arrived and I am very grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community.
Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here.
We support the development of dance in BC as a resource centre providing programs and services for dance professionals.
Photos by Lula-Belle Jedynak