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Graham Technique

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headshot Miki Orihara
headshot Susan Kikuchi
Penny Frank headshot

Miki Orihara

Susan Kikuchi

Penny Frank

Miki Orihara is best known for her Bessie Award winning career with the Martha Graham Dance Company, which she joined in 1987. In addition to performing the Graham repertory, she worked closely with the renowned Japanese-American dancer, choreographer and director, YURIKO, preserving her unique approach to Graham Technique. Orihara’s teaching credentials include numerous workshops in Japan, Art International in Moscow, Peridance, the Ailey School, Barnard College, (Columbia University) and New York University.  She is on the faculty of the Graham School and The Hartt School (University of Hartford). As a Regisseur of Martha Graham’s work, she has been setting works worldwide. She has presented her own choreography in New York, Europe and in Tokyo as a guest artist for Japan’s New National Theater.  Orihara is a member of Dance On Ensemble in Berlin, Germany since 2019, and is currently working on the Martha Graham technique documentation, the Advanced Level, in collaboration with Dance Spotlight and the Martha Graham Center.

Susan Kikuchi was a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company (MGDC) and served as Director of the Graham Ensemble and School, and Artistic Program Manager of MGDC. She has re-staged many Graham works for the MGDC, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Conservatory, etc. Ms. Kikuchi has worked in productions of The King and I since age seven: Soloist and Assistant Director - Broadway production with Yul Brynner; and all over the world, including London. Her additional Broadway credits include Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song, South Pacific, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Ms. Kikuchi has served on the faculties of The Ailey School and the Martha Graham School. She was Artistic Director of the New Dance Drama Educational Projects in Florence, Italy. She served as Associate Dance Director for the Beginning Level Graham Technique video and as Co-Dance Director for the Intermediate/Advanced level.

A former dancer and choreographer who performed with Martha Graham for performances of Primitive Mysteries in 1964 and 1965, Penny taught for about five years in Graham's studio. ("I was never intimidated by her.") Frank appeared with other companies, including Joyce Trisler's and the Juilliard Dance Theatre before giving up one flourishing career to concentrate on two others: raising a family and becoming one of the best dance educators in the country. Her many awards include eight Presidential Scholar in the Arts Distinguished Teacher Awards, and in 1993 she received a Distinguished Teacher award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Penny started teaching at The Ailey School in 1972 and still teaches there one class a week.


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headshot Tracy Inman
headshot Ana Marie Forsythe

Tracy Inman

Tracy Inman, a native of Washington, D.C., is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts where he majored in music. In 1981, he changed his artistic course from music to dance and moved to New York City where he was awarded a scholarship to study at The Ailey School. After completing two years of study, Mr. Inman joined Ailey II and, in 1990, he became a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater -- touring nationally and internationally with the Company for five years and working with choreographers such as Ulysses Dove, Jerome Robbins, Donald Byrd, and Louis Johnson. In 1999, he began teaching the Horton technique at The Ailey School. Mr. Inman was then named Co-Director of the Junior Division in 2001. He was appointed Associate Director of The Ailey School in 2009 and Co-Director in 2010 and is now also Director of the Professional Division.

Ana Marie Forsythe

Ana Marie Forsythe received her formal dance training at the Newark Ballet Academy under Fred Danieli and her Horton training under Joyce Trisler. She began her professional career with the Garden State Ballet company at age 13 and with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company at age 14. She also performed with the Sophie Maslow Dance Company as well as her own company. Ms. Forsythe began teaching the Horton technique in the 1960’s and The Ailey School became her home. She became the chair of the Horton department in 1979, and held the title of program administrator for the school’s joint BFA with Fordham University from its inception (1998) until 2011. She devoted more than twenty years to documenting the Lester Horton technique.

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headshot Yahaya Kamate

Yahaya Kamate

Born and raised in the West African country of Côte d’Ivoire and a former member of the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast, Kamate left home at 25, and toured internationally before settling in the United States in 1994. He immediately found work as a lead dancer, choreographer and teacher of modern dance, ballet, African dance and music. Kamate has been living in New Jersey since 1999, working at local arts organizations including NJPAC, City Lore, the Institute of Music for Children, plus in New York, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Bronx Art Ensemble. He has been offering classes and public performances for over 20 years at The Center for Modern Dance Education in New Jersey.

headshot Marjorie Perces

Marjorie Perces

Marjorie Perces (1921-2018) trained and danced with the Lester Horton Dance Theater in the 1940s and became one of the leading experts on the Horton Technique. After launching her teaching career with Horton, she later taught for Bella Lewitzky in the 1950s, at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center beginning in 1971, and at various universities and dance programs. She began teaching at New York’s Clark Center in 1976 and directed the scholarship program there beginning in 1979. That same year, she received a research grant to establish the Lester Horton Reconstruction Committee at CUNY, and she later received support from the New York State Council on the Arts for her Lester Horton Project. Her devotion to Horton resulted in three instructional videos and a book on the Horton Technique which she co-authored with Ana Marie Forsythe and Cheryl Bell.

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