Miki Orihara is best known for her Bessie Award winning career with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed on Broadway, Elisa Monte, SITI Company, PierGroupDance, Lotuslotus and in productions by Twyla Tharp, Anne Bogart and Robert Wilson. Orihara has presented her works internationally and nationally and is a sought-after teacher and coach working with the Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Japan’s New National Theater Ballet School, the Ailey School, New York University, The Hartt School, L’ete de la Danse (Paris). Orihara is the Dance Director for the Martha Graham Dance Technique DVD series and Movement supervisor for The Beautiful Lady directed by Anne Bogart in 2023. With Stephen Pier, she created few dance films including “Conversations” and “Ceci C’est Pas Un Jouet (this is not a toy)” filmed by Gene Gort. The Noguchi Project with Adam Lenz received a residency grant from Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, NY. It is in process of creating a work reflecting on Noguchi’s “Bell Child”. Orihara presented “A Japanese Dancer in America” at The National Arts Club and performances of “Peace is…” at the United Nations as part of the Permanent Mission of Japan, and her solo concert series “RESONANCE I, II, & III” re-introducing the connection between Japanese and American modern dance pioneers and her mentor, YURIKO. She was a guest artist for “Dance Archives in Japan 2023” in Tokyo. She directed and curated the benefit concerts, “Dancing for JAPAN” in 2014 & 2017, and the NuVu Festival in NYC for which she was awarded CUNY Dance Initiative Residencies at LaGuardia Community College(2015-17) and tour grants from the Japan Foundation. Orihara is currently a member of the “Dance On Ensemble”, Berlin, and faculty at The Hartt School, University of Hartford and Martha Graham. Miki Orihara will be setting Graham’s Steps in the Street on our students for October Dance, October 12-14, 2023.
Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She began her studies at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. Rena danced with companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, AIM by Kyle Abraham, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, The Kevin Wynn Collection, Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company, and Gibney Company. She is a recipient of the prestigious 2019 Princess Grace Foundation Award for Choreography and created works for National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Opera’s Orpheus and Euridice, Norrdans in Sweden, Charlotte Ballet, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, a film portrait for Third Coast Percussion x Devonté Hynes/Blood Orange, Oregon Ballet Theater, The Juilliard School, Oklahoma City Ballet, TEDxChicago Virtual Salon 3.0: Design Your Life, and more. She has been spotlighted in Dance Magazine’s On The Rise feature in 2013, and the featured cover story for Dance Magazine’s November 2021 issue. Butler served on the Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum and currently serves on Dancewave’s Artistic Advisory Council in NYC.