The residence of Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York, was filled with dancers on Wednesday, January 30. They gathered to celebrate the life and career of Yuriko Kikuchi, a Japanese American dancer, choreographer, and instructor who was an influential member of the Martha Graham Dance Company for fifty years as well as the first Japanese American star on Broadway.
Known throughout the dance world simply as Yuriko, she is the recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese government, recognized for her outstanding achievements in the field of dance and for her contribution to friendly relations between Japan and the United States. Through dance she promotes cultural exchanges and inspires collaborations between different American dance companies, cultural institutions, and government agencies.
The ceremony began with remarks from Ambassador Hiroki, who described Yuriko as “a pioneer of the modern dance movement,” someone who merged East with West and changed the concept of dance during her time with Martha Graham.
[via Lars Boe Jarvad]