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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 where I honed my technical skills in Dance while training and competing nationally in Judo. I graduated from UC Irvine with BFAs in Dance Performance and Choreography where I had the honor of working closely with the late Donald McKayle, whom I continue to draw inspiration from.

I was in the original cast of Pearl, directed and choreographed 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 Moreno, for 3 seasons before joining ODC Dance Company in San Francisco. After 2 seasons I felt the urge to discover more versatility and 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 movement while coordinating with Martial Arts choreographer Zhang Jun, and Aerial Director Lisa Giobbi.

Before Covid-19 lockdown I spent 5 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 doc-series by Falabracks on Netflix.

You can find me teaching at dance studios in Orange County and for upcoming masterclasses with AKC. Stay tuned!