Guest Artists / Musicians  

Guest Artists

Guest artists are performing for the Improvisation performance on October 9, and give workshops, morning activities, etc.

Kirstie Simson (UK) 

Kirstie Simson (UK) has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation in moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called "a force of nature" by the New York Times, she is an award-winning dancer and teacher who has "immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance" according to Time Out Magazine, London. Simson’s eternal subject is freedom, as she dares to go beyond the boundaries of form and structure to create movement out of the rhythm of life itself.
For the past thirty-five years Kirstie has collaborated with many dancers and musicians who share a common interest in researching improvisation including: Steve Paxton; Nancy Stark Smith; Simone Forti; Michael Schumacher; Adam Benjamin; Mei Li; musician Le Quan Ninh and many others. She was awarded a London Time Out ‘Dance and Performance Award’ as "a unique figure in the dance world” and Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times said of her dancing "Kirstie Simson is justly celebrated in Britain for exquisite, sensuous dancing that seems to come from some simple force of nature". She is renowned today as an excellent teacher and captivating performer who is a leading light in the field of dance improvisation. She is invited to teach and perform all over the world; working with major dance companies including Sasha Waltz and Guests, DV8, and Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan; teaching in universities, and conservatories; in performance festivals and private studios. A documentary film about her work has been made by filmmaker Katrina McPherson called Force of Nature now available through In January 2008 Kirstie joined the faculty of the Dance Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign where she is an Associate Professor. When the semester is not in session Kirstie is based in Cynghordy, Wales from where she continues her research, teaching and performing internationally.

Intensive teacher

Michael Schumacher (Holland/ USA) 

Michael Schumacher is a performing artist with roots in classical and modern dance. He has been a member of several groundbreaking companies, including Ballet Frankfurt, Twyla Tharp Dance, Feld Ballet, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, and Magpie Music Dance Company. As an independent artist, he has appeared in productions by Peter Sellars, William Forsythe, Dana Caspersen, Sylvie Guillem, Mark Haim, Paul Selwyn Norton, and Anouk van Dijk. Working as dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Schumacher has developed a unique approach to the discipline of improvisation. He has collaborated with many pioneering artists, including Han Bennink, Katie Duck, Jiří Kylián, Mary Oliver, Kirstie Simson, and Alex Waterman. In 2008, Schumacher was awarded both the Gouden Zwaan and the Jiří Kylián Ring, the first dancer/choreographer ever to receive the two awards at the same time. Mr Schumacher resides in Amsterdam and gives workshops in movement analysis and improvisation worldwide.

Intensive teacher

Yukari Ota(Tokyo) Dancer

Yukari was born in Tokyo, Japan. After studying classical ballet, jazz and modern dance she continued her training in contemporary dance under PETER GOSS and JOSE CAZENEUVE in Paris from 1993 to 1996. After returning to Japan, she joined Dance Theatre LUDENS and participated in all of the company’s works and joined national and international tours of LUDENS between 1997 and 2011, both as an assistant artistic director and as a main dancer. Yukari has also worked as a choreographer to her own project company "TERRIITORHYTHM", producing a series of work using live music. Her works include ‘TERRIITORHYTHM’ ‘Frame’ and ‘Trace’. She also works as a freelance dancer and collaborates with choreographers such as Jérôme Bel and Alain Michard. After her encounter with Yoga and Pilates through dance, Yukari gives dance and yoga workshops and regular classes based on the alignment-oriented techniques which she developed through her own experience as a dancer.

Yoga Teaching Training Course conducted by yoggy institute.
Yoga instructors certifyicate course conducted by indian yoga institute of Vivekananda yoga anusandhana samsthana international.
The Yin Yoga Training Program by Paul Grilley Certificate 60hours.
Power Pilates Intermediate mat Teacher.

Mei Li( 台灣 Taiwan ROC)Dancer

Mei Li graduated from London Contemporary Dance School with MA degree. She worked with Kirstie Simson in the filming of ‘International Documentary of Dance Improvisation’ and has been invited to perform and teach improvisation in numerous festivals such as ‘Contact Improvisation Festival Japan,’ and ‘Asian Improvisation Art Exchange’ in Seoul, ‘i- Dance HK,’ ‘Festival International de Danse Contemporaine’ in Madagascar. She is an active practitioner, a performer of improvisation, a member of Ku & Dancers. She currently teaches at National Taiwan University of Arts and at Dance Forum Taipei Dance Company, and is the Director at “Perennial Tree。Creativity/Psychology。Programmes”.

Mingchu “Xiaochu” Yu (台灣 Taiwan ROC) Dancer

Mingchu “Xiaochu” Yu is a dancer, performer, and improvisation teacher in Taiwan. In 1999, she joined Ku & Dancers, participating in several performances. She then went to France, where she studied and worked with different choreographers including Yuko Kametami, Erinc Aslanboga, Simon Williams and Yukiko Murata. She received her MFA from Université Paris Saint-Denis in 2005.
Yu returned to Taipei in 2008 and has since been involved in interdisciplinary projects :《 Room》 &《 Bathroom》 with Flying Puppet Group; 《 Dream Digger》 with 1/2 Q Theatre,besides working with Ku & Dancers. In 2011, she was invited to ‘i’Trôtra – 8ème Festival International de Danse Contemporaine in Madagascar, to i-Dance Asia Improvisation Art Exchange in Seoul in 2012, 2014, and to contact improvisation Kuala Lumpur in 2013.

Ru-Hong Lim 林 茹鴻 (台灣 Taiwan ROC) Dancer, counseling psychologist

Dancer, counseling psychologist, director of Perennial Tree Psychotherapy Center, and part-time assistant professor at Taipei National University of the Arts.
Ru-Hong Lin recieved her MA in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, USA. She has performed together with Kirstie Simson and Ku & Dancers in ‘Not Knowing, but Wanting to Know.’ Recently, she has been invited in ‘i-Dance Festival (HK),’ ‘i-Dance Japan, International Contact Improvisation Festival’, ‘i-Dance Korea, Asia Improvisation Art Exchange,’ and ‘i’Trôtra – 8ème Festival International de Danse Contemporaine’ in Madagascar.

Victor Choi-wo Ma (Hong Kong) Dancer

Victor Choi-wo MA founded Y-Space in 1995 and is the artistic director. He was in the first graduating class of the School of Dance of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Upon graduation, he joined The Hong Kong Ballet, and resumed study at the HKAPA School of Drama in 1990. In 1996, he received the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship to conduct research on dance and theatre in the USA. In 2002, he further received the Hong Kong Arts Development Council-University of Leeds-Chevening Scholarships for a Master’s degree programme in Performance Studies in the UK. As a choreographer with over 60 creations, he has also been a movement director for many local and international companies from Taiwan, China, South Korea, India, the USA, Australia, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Zimbabwe, etc. His major works include None of Your Business, Not a Double Room, Unconscious I & II, Dance “In” Possible!? I - V, Improvisation Land Series 1 - 62, Air and Breath I & II, Body, I.D. & Space I - V, Victor Ma's Dance Exhibition I & II, RE/evolution, Suddenly, On and On and Turn Turn Turn…etc. He has been the Artistic Director and Curator of i-Dance (Hong Kong) since 2009.

Mandy Ming-yin YIM(Hong Kong) Dancer

Co- founder of Y-Space, Mandy Yim graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts School of Dance. She was the Hong Kong Ballet and City Contemporary Dance Company dancer from 1988 – 1996. She was a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship in 1996 to do her dance research in the USA. In 2000, she was invited to create a site-specific work"Chop-Suey” for the Harare International Festival of the Arts, September in same year, was invited to attend the Norway Oktoberdans Festival & End of Millenium Festival and participate in performing arts festival of artists -in-residence program, has also been invited to Germany Delesideng Tanzwoche Festival Wishful Thinking Project, Korea Fringe Festival , India Kolkata Interface Festival, Australia Melbourne Beyond Butoh Fringe Festival, Beijing Dashanzi International Art Festival , Shenzhen OCAT Comtemporary Dance Festival & Hunan Changde , Poland International Comtemporary Dance Conference & Performance Festival, i-Dance Taipei, i-Dance Korea, i-Dance Japan creation, Hunan and Beijing of China for performances and exchanges. Since 2009, Yim has acted as the producer of i-Dance Festival (HK) and her teaching, performances, creation toured Europe, Asia and Africa. Yim is currently the Education and Outreach Director of Y-Space.

A-reum choi(Korea)Dancer

She studied Korean traditional dances at National Gukak Highschool which is the first Korean school teaches about traditional music and dance. She proceeded to Ehwa Women's University for majoring Creative Korean Dance. And she completed choreographer course at Korea National University of Arts.
Currently she works actively for performances, teachings, and choreographs as co-founder of dance company "Movement Neuru".
"Movement Neuru" is a dance company focusing on dissolving the boundaries between performance, education, and experiences. Exploring midpoint between tradition and modern, Dissolving boundaries between art and life, and action of arts in life are the main themes of "Movement Neuru". Currently Neuru is putting efforts on the theme of "Life network based on nature and human body".


Co-leader of 'Movement Neuru'
Member of 'AIAE'
Learned Korean traditional dance over 20 years
Currently studying oriental studies

2000 Bachelor, Dancing department, Hansung University
2008 Master, Dance Creation Department, Korea National University of Arts
2008-2011Art teacher of dance arts department of Korea Culture & Arts Promotion Agency
2013-2014 Seoul Cultural Foundation Teaching Artist

Guest Musicians

Guest musicians are performing for the improvisation performance on October 9, and coloring the space with the sound for jams and workshops etc.

Miura Ichigo(Kyoto) percussionist

He is a percussionist and plays strings and bamboo sax also. He collaborates with many kinds of music project like world fusion, ethnic soundscape, solo performance using looper. He often collaborates with dance, and he has a good sense of improvisation.

Naomi Minomo(Kagoshima) Piano /Voice

She teaches play the piano for many children in Isa. Her belief is Music is the tool of communication. She and her husband are doing
acoustic unit "cLOVEr" with another pair of couple. She is in charge of composition, piano and vocal for cLOVEr. She started to collaborate with Contact Improvisation Group recent years, performed for some improvisation performancees.
She is originally from Jisso, her super sensory thinking and artisty were affected by the natural environment.

Supporting Artists

Young artists from all over Japan support the festival in many ways.

Yuki Goda(Kyoto)

京都のダンスカンパニーMonochrome Circusダンサー。
2010 年から2 年間、パフォーマンスグループ「MuDA」のダンサーとしても活動。
合田緑との姉弟デュオ作品「白昼夢」、飯名尚人との共同作品「金魚撩乱」、山中透、Shinya B、Bucciらによる音楽ユニット"Air Vessel”とのライブパフォーマンスなど、様々なアーティストと積極的に活動を行っている。

Kyoko Nomura(Kyoto) 

© Sajik Kim Born in Fukuoka. She belonged to the dance company “Monochrome Circus” that is based in Kyoto since 2007 to 2017. Later, she gained experience in many stages in Japan and abroad as a main dancer of the company and she has worked with Didier Theron, Jung Young Doo, Michael Maurissens etc.. .Also as individual, she has done active co-production and improvised performance with musicians in various places as well. In addition, she has a lot of teaching experience of contact and contemporary dance in some workshops and education field in Japan. And she started the project and administration team “GODA Kikaku” with Yuki Goda in Kyoto from 2015. They are offering discovery and introduction of artists, and making opportunity of the encounter for the artists and citizen. Also she is keeping dancing and creating own work in parallel.

Tomomi Tamagawa(Kagoshima) 

Born in Kagoshima
She started ballet in Tokyo, then trained at Académie de Danse Classique Prinsesse Grace in Monaco since 2002. She graduated from English National Ballet School in 2007 and became artist of English National Ballet ('07-'10), and Croatian National Ballet in Zagreb ('11-'12).
In 2013, she moved her base in Berlin and became freelancer. Since then she started widen her career by working for theatre piece, film work and contemporary dance piece. Currently based in her hometown Kagoshima, where she is teaching ballet and body-work as well as performing and collaborating with various artists in world-wide.
2014 <Berlin> Festival International of New Drama "MEAT" (T.B.Nilson)
2016 <Amsterdam> Fringe Festival "k_a_g_e"

Madoka Nakajima(Traveller) 

In 2011,I met Contact Improvisation in Argentina for the first time,then,since 2012 for a couple of years, had a journey with Contact in view around Argentina, other South American countries ,Israel, and Germany. I am also offering vegetarian meals and sweets in my limited time cafe.
My life is all improvised , with traveling,dancing, and cooking. I live following my heart and sharing happiness with people whoever I see.

Fumiko Kobayashi(Okayama)

She is a graphic designer, eventer, facilitator, and a dancer.
She studied printmaking in Il Bisonte, scuola internazionale di specializzazione di grafica d'arte in Florence and architecture in Architectural Association of Architecture in London and graduated from architecture course of Kyoto university of art and design Correspondence Education.
From around 2011, she was absorbed in organizing and creating some projects, in which several people exchange their thoughts and make new relationship.
For investigation of the variety of relationship between people she started to dance in 2012 stimulated by
She has joined buto class of Sumako Koseki since 2016 and gave a public performance with her in Okayama.

Chikako Fujii(Tokyo) 

Chikako was born in Tokyo to a family of pioneering patissier in Japan.

Trained in modern dance and jazz dance in her childhood, she developed an interest in contemporary dance, and moved to London, England in 1993 to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of music and dance(formerly Laban Centre), gaining a BA(Hons) in Dance Studies in 1996.

Since moving back to Tokyo, Chikako has participated in different types of dance project in various settings, including contact improvisation, collaboration with painters, musicians and poets performing in cafes, galleries and in video works .
Chikako also worked in a project with deaf and mute dancers to learn different ways of communication and sensory experience, such as sign language, listening to sound and music through feeling vibration through body.

Recently, Chikako worked as an assistant to children's dance workshop lead by Fumiyo Ikeda(a founding member of Rosas)), and it was with her collaboration with composer Masanori Misawa, in combining text, electronic music, dance and video.

Hiro Sakurai(Sappro)

Hiro Sakurai is a founder of dance unit 'micelle'
since2014with Chiaki Kouno.
He develops dance pieces connected on various social themesaging society, dissabilty issues...He performed ' Foot stamp' at Japan community dance festival 2014.
He is organizer of 'Improveads' specifically improvisation performance and workshop project.It broadened with artists from different countries participatingChiko Katsube,Shoko Kashima,Jean Laurent Sasportes,Tetsu Saito,Christoph Erb,Frantz Loriot,Yuta Yokoyama...
Recently he chreographs for the theater.

Chiaki Kouno(Sappro) 

I encountered contemporary dance in my twenties and I started making dance works later. Hokkaido Dance Project Performance "New Challenge 3" won the Takao Norikoshi Prize for the choreographing work "female" by myself.
In recent years, as a unit "micelle" with Hiro Sakurai, we are active on Contact Improvisation. In the performance "improveads." Organized, invited Chiko Katsube ,Shoko Kashima , former Wuppertaler Tanztheater Jean Suspectas etc. Up to now, improvisation performance and talk event are held.
With the birth of my baby 2016, I'm searching for a new direction such as dancing touched by parents and children.

Organizer / Artists

Contact Improvisation Group organize i-Dance Japan.

Chico Katsube(Kagoshima) Dancer /Organizer

is a dance improviser, choreographer and a teacher from Osaka, Japan. She received her B.Ed. and M.A. degrees at the Dance Education Division of Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, where she studied Modern Dance and Choreography. From 1990 to 94, she studied and danced in New York City as a company member with many talented choreographers such as Joy Kellman and Ruby Shang. She has also developed her own style of choreography and performance.She has begun Contact Improvisation activity in Japan with the strong influence and the recommendation of Nancy Stark Smith who visited Japan and taught her workshops in 1997 at the program of “Triangle Project”.In 2000, she founded, a Contact Improvisation Company, with Makiko Ito. Since then she has been a leading figure in teaching, organizing and performing Contact Improvisation in Tokyo and throughout Japan.In 2005, 2007 and 2012, she participated and taught intensive workshops in Contact Festival in Israel. In the summer of 2006, she taught a workshop in the Magpie Collective Workshop and performed with the Magpie Music and Dance in Amsterdam. And in 2011, she participated Contact Festival Kuala Lumpur, i- dance Taipei, where she taught and performed with Shoko Kashima. And she has been a seed member of AIAE in South Korea from 2008.From 2008, she founded the CIFJ (Contact Improvisation Festival Japan) and continues to organize and create the international CI festival to exchange culture, people, essence of CI in Tokyo and some regions in Japan. Now she is studying and investigating together improvisation dance with Shoko Kashima, who is a dancer as well as a photographer, to search and mix the Asian Culture in their dance improvisation. In 2010, Chico and Shoko participated in ECITE in Finland and AIAE (Asian Improvisation Art Exchange) in Korea to research for the next improvisation project in Japan and Asia. She was a faculty of some universities in Tokyo for more than 10 years such as, Ochanomizu University, Keio University, Rikkyo University, Nihon Women’s college of physical Education where she teaches dance or CI regularly.In 2012, she moved her base of the dance activity ( from Tokyo to Kagoshima with Shoko Kashima. They started the activity with the focus on exploring and integrating Asian culture into improvisation, as well as to establish the art community in the countryside in Kagoshima prefecture. In 2013, she will organize the first “i-Dance Japan”, Contact Improvisation Festival in Isa-city.

Shoko Kashima(Kagoshima) Dancer/Photographer/Organizer

is a dancer, improviser, photographer and teacher. She received her Master of Arts in Dance Education from Ochanomizu University in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo and founded the dance company ZINZOLIN in 1996. In 2000 she created the partnership “Duo unit” with Ryoko Sugimoto, while also being awarded a one year scholarship from the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists to study dance in New York. Their works were selected for performance by Joyce SOHO Presents, DUMBO Festival, The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Cool NY 2004 Dance Festival in NY. As a dancer, she danced for Chico Katsube, collaborated with Michael Schumacher, Chico Katsube, Katie Dack, Dance Theater Ludens, Ray Chung, Natanja den Boeft, Noam Carmeli and other many artists. After returning to Japan, Shoko began working with Chico Katsube as a member - and now co-director - of Contact Improvisation Group In 2006, She founded the CIFJ (Contact Improvisation Festival Japan) with Chico and organized and create the international CI festival to exchange culture, people, essence of CI in Tokyo and some regions in Japan until 2012. She has been teaching CI at kindergartens, elementary schools, universities, public theaters and museums. She is a seed member of Asian Improvisation Art Exchange (Seoul, Korea), creating networks and researching improvisation among artists in Asia. She is fabulously known as a photographer, and has a good feel for taking dance pictures. In 2012, she moved from Tokyo to Kagoshima with Chico Katsube, and started activities of cultivate arts community in sparsely populated area.