Kota Yamazaki

Image of Kota Yamazaki
Guest Artist

Born in Niigata, Japan, Kota Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh under the teaching of Akira Kasai, then graduated from Bunka Fashion College (Tokyo) with BA in Fashion Design. He is a recipient of Bessie Award 2007, FCA Award 2013, NYFA Fellowship 2016, and Guggenheim Fellowship 2018.


Born in Niigata, Japan, Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh under the teaching of Akira Kasai at the age of 18 after trained as a music conductor, then graduated from Bunka Fashion College with BA in Fashion Design. Yamazaki was invited to work with Daniel Larrieu at CNDC in 1989 in Angers, France and was introduced to Avignon Festival and the Nouvelle Danse for the first time. In 1994, He became a finalist in the platform of Bognolet choreographic competition (the International de Bagnolet Councours) in France for his second choreographic work Reflection. He was also invited to join in the TAP (Triangle Arts Program) artist exchange program in 1997. With the program coordinated by Asian Cultural Council and the Saison Foundation, he spent one month in the United States and Indonesia respectively. Since Yamazaki established his Tokyo-based company rosy co. in 1996, the company was invited to perform nationally and internationally by theaters and festivals such as Place Theater (England), Yorkshire Dance Festival (England), Biennale de Nationale de Dane Val-de Marine (France), Buena Center for the Arts (CA), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (MA), Bates Dance Festival (MA), Indonesian Dance Festival and Bunkamura Theater Cocoon (Japan).

With the invitation from Germain Acogny to create a work FAGAALA in collaboration with her Senegal-based company, Yamazaki disbanded his Tokyo-based company rosy co., which he led from 1995-2001, and relocated himself to Senegal and New York. Since 2003, Yamazaki with New York-based Fluid hug-hug has been presenting work at national and international theaters and festivals such as Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), NUS for the Arts (Singapore), Globalize: Cologne (Germany), PICA/TBA Festival (OR), Dance Theater Workshop (NY), New York Live Arts (NY), Danspace Project (NY), Andy Warhol Museum (PA), Miami Light Project, Wesleyan University (CT), UC San Diego, ASU Gammage (AZ), FIAF/Crossing Line (NY), Wesleyan University (CT), and Japan Society (NY).

Yamazaki is a recipient of The New York Dance and Performance Awards (the Bessie Award) of 2007, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award of 2013, NYFA Fellowship of 2016, Guggenheim Fellowship of 2018 and two-time The Herb Alpert Award nominee. One of his latest works, “Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination” was nominated for the Bessie Award of 2018 as Outstanding Production, and also named as Best Production of 2017 in Dance Magazine.

Throughout these years, Yamazaki has been teaching at universities, local communities, and professional dance companies around the world. Most recently, he was teaching at Sarah Lawrence College (NY) and UC Davis at California University. Yamazaki is also a director of cross-disciplinary Whenever Wherever Festival and Body Arts Laboratory-the first artist-run organization in Tokyo since 2009.

Yamakazi was a visiting faculty member for Spring 2020. He continues to be a recurring guest artist at Bennington since 2008.