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Lani Yamanaka

Artist, Performer, Educator



episode 5 trailer

by Falabracks

By Samantha Tan

I'm Lani,
a creative based in Southern California.

I grew up in San Diego, honing my technical skills in Dance while training and competing in Judo. I graduated from UC Irvine in 2015 with my BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography.

I was in the original cast of Pearl by Daniel Ezralow, which premiered at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theatre. I was a Company Dancer with Entity Contemporary Dance, co-founded by Will Johnston and Marissa Osato, for three seasons before joining ODC Dance Company in San Francisco. After two seasons I joined the cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a multimedia production designed for The Shed NYC, by award-winning director Chen Shi-Zheng. I worked as Dance Captain with choreographer Akram Khan and assistant choreographer Joy Alpuerto Ritter to manipulate martial arts in movement choreography. 


Before the Covid-19 lockdown, I spent five weeks in Dhaka, Bangladesh with Akram Khan Company training 25 local dancers and ultimately performing Father: Vision of the Floating World, a piece featured in MOVE, a dance docuseries on Netflix.

You can find me teaching at Millennium Dance Complex OC 

and for upcoming workshops with AKC. Stay tuned!