About Tomomi

Tomomi Imai, Dancer and ChoreographerTomomi Imai studied dance with Yoshiki Homma and began choreographing her own dances with the Dance Troupe Sho in Japan. Sho Endo's background was acting and lighting design. His idea was that every element of the performance played a principal role, from backdrop to lights to costume to the dancers themselves and must justify their presence on stage. He conveyed his vision of the piece with particular attention to detail. This had a stimulating effect on Ms. Imai's creativity. His influence on Ms. Imai is evident in the care and expressive use of everything she brings with her on stage: all the elements of her composition are essential to the dance she performs.
 
After few years, Ms. Imai started her own company called Tomomi Imai and Dancers and joined the Sun Arts project. She staged her own compositions, such as "Portrait", "Snow Scene", the haunting "Sunshine Shower" whose light title belies its disturbing theme of fatal enchantment, "The Shape of Night", and a dance rendition of Kenji Miyazawa's poignant poem, "Haruno Shiyura", whose theme she expanded in a poem she wrote. She composed and danced "Ophelia", which offers a new twist to the famous Hamlet scene; and the oddly prophetic "Radiation". Close to the end of her Tokyo stint, she created a perfect gem in the ethereal solo "Embrace," performed in a stark black dress with rice paper white face and limbs and a light paper ball that floated in her arms. These, among others, were presented in Tokyo Haiyuza Theater and other distinguished venues and won prizes.
 
Tomomi Imai, Dancer and ChoreographerIn 2001 Ms. Imai moved to New York. In 2004 she collaborated with pianist Bob Sardo and choreographed "Transformation". This opened a new door to another dimension of dance. She followed this up with a duet, "Night Tide", then "Medusa", performed with a long length of rope that she used deftly to complement violent movements that suggested entanglement yet isolation. This was followed by "Embrace", the celebrated "Medusa II" with a small flashlight, "Abyss" and, lately, what may be the most faithful interpretation of Oscar Wilde's play "Salome" as pure dance with only a touch of mime. Miss Imai studied the postwar uniquely Japanese dance, Butho, with one of its most famous practitioners, Mr. Yukio Waguri. She has danced with Toni Taylor, Maxine Steinman, Mary Seidman and has performed aerial work with Above and Beyond Dance, as well as others. She has presented her own work at the 92nd St. Y Harkness Dance Center, University Settlement, Dance New Amsterdam, Cool NY Dance Festival, Wave Rising Series, and WestFest.
 
Tomomi Imai, Dancer and ChoreographerShe has worked in other theater pieces and appeared in a short film that was exhibited in Berlin. The distinguishing feature of her compositions and performances is enormous power and passion expressed in fluid yet articulated movements with a contrasting smooth restraint that multiplies their expressiveness. This engages the viewer yet maintains aesthetic distance. However strong the theme and performance, it is art that is unfolding and not real life. This distinction is one Ms Imai insists on and strictly maintains in dance.