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          Premiered in 2014
          @ La MaMa Theatre, NYC
Resonance II
          Premiered in 2017 @ LPAC, NYC
Resonance III
          Premiered in 2019 @ LPAC, NYC
          Japan Foundation Tour Grant
“Onko chishin” 温故知新— is a Japanese expression describing an attempt to discover new things by studying the past.  The term defines the mission of this concert series, to explore connections between the worlds of Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance.
This trailer made by Tomoko Mikanagi means a lot to me. Tomoko became a very good friend after we met during my first concert. She made beautiful videos 「共鳴ーResonance」「Resonance II」and 「Resonance III」and 「broken memory」
You can watch all in my Media page             Please enjoy!

Upper left to right:

Martha Graham in Lamentation (1930) Photo by Soichi Sunami, Courtesy of the Sunami Family

Miki Orihara by Tokio Kuniyoshi


Doris Humphrey by Soichi Sunami, courtesy of the Sunami Family

Lower left to right:

Seiko Takata  in Mother (1938) photo courtesy of Nanako Yamada


Konami Ishii in Koushou (1938) photo courtesy of Noriko Sato


Yuriko in The Cry (1963) courtesy of the Kikuchi Family


Nobue Hirabayashi

In RESONANCE III, I finally bring together the works of both American and Japanese early modern dance pioneers, and my mentor Yuriko’s work to connect

the lineage of my personal artistic heritage.


Seiko Takata is one of the most important “Grand Ladies” of modern dance in Japan. I studied at Takata Yamada Modern Dance Studio as a young dancer and working with Martha Graham reminded me of Seiko being around in the studio watching us taking Nanako Yamada’s class.  I was very excited when ever she was in the studio,

not knowing why.  Even though she was a modern dancer, she always had a Kimono on.  

Her trip to Europe and US ( NYC in 1922-23) was a big step for her. She performed on Broadway and in

Anna Pavlova’s benefit concert for Japan, Asakusa Opera, and the Imperial Theater Opera. 

During my research, I was fascinated to learn about all that Seiko did.


My mentor Yuriko is now 100 years of age, is very sharp. She gives me so much inspiration. She studied modern dance in Japan when she was young with Konami Ishii as her teacher. In this concert, I am honored to dance a work of Ishii’s from his “Dance Poem” era.


My connection to Martha Graham is obvious in my dance. Almost 40 years of studying Graham technique, 4 years in her Ensemble (Graham 2) and 27 years in her company, informs my career. I love her technique and dances. “Lamentation” is one of the many works I still enjoy dancing and each time I have a different experience.


Doris Humphrey, When I arrived to NY in 1979, Doris Humphrey was already gone. I took a lot of Humphrey/Limon classes, not knowing what Humphrey was and what Limon was.  But since Martha and Doris both came out from Denishawn, I wanted to dance both women’s works. One of my first encounters of Humphrey work was “Two Ecstatic Themes” danced by my friend and colleague, Sandra Kaufmann, who studied with Earnestine Stodelle. That was shockingly beautiful. Since then I wanted to dance this work. It’s been a long time coming but now I am dancing it!!!


Lastly, I am dancing Yuriko’s “The Cry” in this concert. Yuriko, my mentor. Her life is very colorful, with her time in Japan, her time in an internment camp in America, her time in pre Graham, post Graham, her time in Hollywood, Broadway and beyond… I am following her life, a little – a lot of time I was cast in roles that she originated.

Yuriko coached me in a lot of Martha’s roles, and I danced on Broadway of The King and I which she was very involved in. She is a beautiful merge between America and Japan, and since I have this great experience,

I want to share what I learned.


I have the vision of 5 concerts – this is the third one.  Two more to go!

If you are interested to know what is next two, just find me and talk to me!!! I can’t stop talking about this!


I am so grateful of Steven Hitt, the director of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and his staff’s support, The Japan Foundation for believe in me for this project to go forward, to award this production their Tour Grant, Hiroshi Masuyama for his support, All Nippon Airway’s support for my two guests from Japan so that they could fly to NY comfortably, Barnard College and the Hartt School’s support of giving me free space for practicing.


For projections, I want to thank the Sunami Family who gave me the permission to use beautiful pictures of Soichi Sunami, The Kikuchi family for Yuriko’s pictures, Noriko Sato for teaching me works, providing me all the information and pictures of Konami Ishii, Nanako Yamada for teaching me and providing me all the information and pictures of Seiko, Norton Owen and Yasuko Kataoka for bringing lectures to find out this beautiful world of modern dance together. More that I learn, more that I feel connections to dance in both countries.


I want to thank you my mentor Yuriko and all teachers and dancers who came before me and who will come after me

and so much support from my husband, Stephen Pier.


Thank you!


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Bringing Modern Dances' Mothers Together
Christine Jowers of Dance Enthusiast
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Photo by Kenji Mori
Memory Current by Adam Barruch from 1st concert


Nobue Hirabayashi

In Resonance II, I pick up where I left off with my first concert, 共鳴 Kyomei-Resonance, this time exploring my Japanese dance heritage and its confluence with the work of American dance masters including a new commission.


Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham are two of the most influential modern dance choreographers in our time. Lar Lubovitch was the first group of dancers who studied at the Juilliard School where ballet and modern dance merge in early 1960’s, and to me, his group started contemporary dance.


Charlotte Griffin is a very special choreographer whose work that I have been witnessing past 20 years. Her development as a choreographer, I wanted to share her vision in this concert.  The work she is choreographing on me, reflect who I am, which some part that I did not even think that was myself. It is an open eye work for me.


Tanroh Ishida is a Japanese traditional Kyogen/Noh actor who also studied Shakespear and western acting at Guild Hall in London. We exchange our training in our intense two week workshop in NY to examine and explore our back ground.


I have chosen dance pieces for “Resonance II” to bring works by pioneers of American Dance close again to the audience now that opportunities to experience them have diminished in recent years. Ultimately, I’d like to present these pieces to the dance fans in Japan while introducing the history of Japanese modern dance to American audience. This is the second step to bring such idea to reality.

Cover Photo by John Deane


Nobue Hirabayashi

I am deeply interested in the continuity and lineage between Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance. I will be dancing American masters’ works and contemporary works in this first solo concert.


There is a Japanese expression, “ONKO CHISHIN” - an attempt to discover new things by studying the past through scrutiny of the old. The goal of this concert series is to explore connections between Worlds of Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance.


Most of the time, “Modern Dance” is categorized as an old type of dance, and “Contemporary Dance” refers to what is happening in the moment. But just because a work was choreographed in another decade, does not mean that it can not speak to today’s audience. The stories and themes of these masters’ works are still happening to this generation.  The best of these works are timeless.


A “New Thing” is not necessarily new the next day, and an “Old Thing” is not necessarily old, even half a century later! The general public’s eyes are always looking for the “new,” but there are so many new things to discover in older works. My intimate knowledge of classic modern dances informs my view of the contemporary, and my contemporary explorations shines new light on my understanding and interpretation of past masters.


I have chosen dance pieces for “Kyomei – Resonance” to bring works by pioneers of American Dance close again to the audience now that opportunities to experience them have diminished in recent years. Ultimately, I’d like to present these pieces to the dance fans in Japan while introducing the history of Japanese modern dance to American audience. This is the first step to bring such idea to reality.

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DONATE  to this project     

LPAC is helping me to gather funds this time using their organization’s tax-exempt status.

This means that any contribution you make to this project will be fully tax deductible.

Tax deductible contribution made out to

"FH LaGuardia Community College AUX Corporation”, (memo: Miki Orihara)

will be gratefully accepted at the following address:


Miki Orihara

405 West 48th Street #4F

New York, NY 10036

Venmo : @Miki-Orihara

PayPal: miki orihara  or

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Resonance III

Commissioning support for RESONANCE III is provided by LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Community College, which receives major support from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional support provided by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation,  

NY Culture Department of Cultural Affairs City of New York. York.


RESONANCE III is a grantee of the Japan Foundation’s Tour Grant 2018/2019


Other support from All Nippon Airways, Hiroshi Masuyama – MAM Foundation

The Hartt School ( University of Hartford), The Barnard College, RIOULT Dance Center,

Theatre of Yugen, Vancouver Civic Theatres and Dezza Dance.

Special Thank you to :

The Japan Foundation

Takako Asakawa and Paul Richards, Maxine Glorsky, Steven Hitt, LaGuardia Community College, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Amy Harrison, John Deane, Stephen Pier, Michie Yamakawa, Nobue Hirabayashi, Taeco Ishida, Erico Platt,

Karin Fukumi, Amy Manfredi, The HarttSchool ( University of Hartford ), Paul Scolieri ,

Tricia Toliver, The Barnard College, Sumie Yonei, The Sunami Family, The Kikuchi Family, Nanako Yamada, Noriko Sato, Yasuko Kataoka, Shigeyo Murayama, Yūki Kobari, The Kivnick Family, Norton Owen, Sandra Kaufmann, The Harvard University,  Mr. & Mrs. Kunugi, All Nippon Airway, Joyce Herring, Pascal Rioult,

New National Theatre in Japan, Tatsuo Mochizuki,

Stephen Pier and Yuriko

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 Resonance II

Commissioning support for Resonance II is provided by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Miki Orihara’s residency at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center is part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), which receives major support from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foun- dation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by The Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.

Partially funded by Grant from Japan Foundation and MAM/Tokyo (Masu Hiroshi Masuyama.)


Yurie Anai, Nya Bowman, Jun Bunya, Shinsuke Chikata-Fox, CUNY Dance Initiative, Ronni Favors, Maxine Glorsky, Charlotte Gri n, Steven Hitt, LaGuardia Community College, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Amy Harrison, Nobue Hirabayashi, Taeco Ishida, Lloyd Knight, Tsukasa Kondo,
Hiroshi Masuyama, Tomoko Mikanagi, Lauren Newman, Senri Oe, Stephen Pier, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, Henry Pierre, Tricia Toliver, The Barnard College, Andrea Weber, Sumie Yonei, Karen Young, Yuriko, Rendo Sugimoto ,Yoko Iwasaki and all my friends in the NY dance community.




Peter and Teresa Peterson, Anne Moller

Lee Traub, Yukimi Tomioka, Freema Nadler, Marni Thomas ,The Fischer Family,

Michael Baseett and Sandra Kaufmann, Nancy Allison, David Chase, Cynthia Fischer, Penny Frank, Itsuko Sekiguchi

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 Resonance - 共鳴

Production was supported by La MaMa Theatre, NYC and the Japan Foundation ( New work Grant)



Anne Moller

Yukimi N.Tomioka, Takako Asakawa, Freema Nadler, Beatrice and Lucas Held, Shiro Kondo, Marnie T.Wood

Karin Schall, Angelica and Neil Rudenstine, Zina Steinberg, Lee Traub, Aaron Rudenstine, Nancy Allison, Thea Barnes, Michael Bassett, Davi Chase, Veanne Cox, The Fischer Family, Patricia Freedman, Rie Hattori, Sandra Holmes, Kusutomo Kaga, Yukari & Toshinobu Komuro, Ida Ling, Yasuhiro Makoshi, Risa Matsudaira, Chieko Onda, Cindy Ogawa, Shiro Oishi, Margit Rudenstine, Tomoe Sato, Alice Sarkissian-Wolf, Itsuko Sekiguchi, Hitomi Shimada, Elizabeth Smith, Robert Tomlinson, Yeeping Wu 

Sue Bernhard, Lisa Cash, Connie Chin, Marianne Handy Hraibi, Alice Helpern, Maria Maddux, Mary Anne Newhall

Nozomi Terao, Michie Yamakawa, Liz & Andy York


Akiko Aizawa, Arnie Apostol, Tadej Brdnik, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Katherine Crockett, Janet Eilber, Carrie Ellmore-tallitsch, Simona Ferrara, Deborah Goodman, Charlotte Griffin, Penny Frank Mandel, Rena Fogel, Philip Gardner, Debbie Goodman, Joyce Herring, B. Imada, Kirsten Ho,Yasuyuki Mogami, Elisa Monte, Mina Nishimura, Susan Roy, Stephanie Saland, Kodi Scheer, Annie Wong, Tsutomu Yamasaki

David Zurak, Tsukuru Asada ,Tsukasa Kondo, Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

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