Yoshito Sakuraba left his native Japan for New York at the age of 19 and started dancing a year later. He received B.A.in Dance from Manhattanville College then graduated from the Martha Graham School. He is the founding Artistic Director of Abarukas and an award-winning choreographer. His work has been seen in Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Israel, Mexico, and the U.S. Yoshito won the Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition at NW Dance Project and Choreographic Shindig at Whim W’him in the U.S. He was awarded for Best Choreography Award in Italy at FINI Dance Festival and the Audience Award at Masdanza International Contemporary Dance Festival in Spain. He was invited to present his work Coming Home for the Masdanza Extensions Tour in 2018. Yoshito has been commissioned to create works for Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, NW Dance Project, Whim W’Him, Ballet Des Moines, Ballet Arkansas, Graham II, Alvin Ailey/Fordham University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Elon University, Peabody/Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College, HSPVA, GHAA, IAA, Making Moves Dance Festival, Dance Gallery Festival/Level Up, FINI Dance Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, and more.
Yoshito has presented his work for International Solo Tanz Theater Festival (Germany), Gdansk Dance Festival (Poland), Masdanza International Contemporary Dance Festival (Spain), Mash International Choreography Festival (Israel), and FIDCDMX (Mexico), Festival 10 Sentidos (Spain), and FINI Dance Festival (Italy). He’s been featured in NY1 as well as Bric TV on Spectrum Cable Channel. He has taught at Amsterdam Dance Centre (Netherlands), DAF Dance Arts Faculty (Italy), FINI Dance (Italy), The Playground (NYC), Dance Theater of Harlem (NYC), Open Dance Festival (Iowa), and more. He currently teaches at Peridance, GIBNEY, and the Martha Graham School.
He founded Abarukas in the fall of 2012, and the company performed at BAM Fisher, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series in 2014 and 2016, Palm Desert Choreography Festival, Pan Asian Dance Festival, LaMama Moves Dance Festival, DanceNow at Joe’s Pub, WestFest, Making Moves Dance Festival, APAP Showcase at Peridance, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 92Y, GK Arts Center, and a number of universities in the U.S as well as a residency and performance at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Reacting to his work, Broadway Dance World wrote, “I witnessed a true work of art…Mr. Sakuraba’s brilliant mind for choreography has captivated me… extreme creativity, fine detail, and high-level dancing.”