What My Teacher Taught Me: Yayoi Kambara
May 20, 2016

Kambara (aloft) in Brenda Way’s Waving Not Drowning (A Guide to Elegance)

Sometimes you get the confidence to pursue a new path from unexpected places. When Yayoi Kambara of San Francisco–based company ODC/Dance decided she wanted to stop performing full-time, co-artistic director KT Nelson gave her the confidence and support to become a choreographer.

“When I brought up leaving the company, I remember KT saying, ‘When we were on tour at White Oak on Halloween, I saw you paint your pumpkin this amazing purple-pink color. I knew you were really an artist.’ That cracked me up! I thought, ‘Wait, that’s what it took?’ KT said, ‘You’re really visual. I think you should definitely choreograph.’ And that was it. KT helped me have a four-year plan of transitioning out of ODC and onto a new path.”

See Kambara + Dancers in Common Place: Dances by Khamla Somphanh and Yayoi Kambara tonight and tomorrow at 8 pm at ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco.

Photo by RJ Muna, courtesy of ODC/Dance

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