Emiko Tokunaga

Emiko is Co-artistic Director of the NY-based Tokunaga Dance Ko. (TDK).  She resigned as Artistic Director of Summer Dance, academic advisor, and modern dance faculty instructor at The Boston Conservatory (TBC) in May 2011.  She was formerly the Radcliffe Dance Program Coordinator at Harvard and Radcliffe.  TDK recently published two biographies:  

Yuriko—To Wash in the Rain and Polish with the Wind and America-no-Itohan/Princess from America...an haute couture's Cinderella Story.  

At The Boston Conservatory (TBC), after a 10 year hiatus, in 1998, she reinstituted the Summer Dance program, attracted students nationally and internationally, and employed a world-class faculty to teach ballet, modern, styles, and choreography, as well as established three lecture series Faculty Dance Traditions—we are what we were, Dance Dialogues, and Dance Forums, for students to learn about their faculty and other similarities/differences found in movement arts throughout the world.  TBC Dance Theater premiered her choreography:  The Bridge, Hanayagi, Gaman (based on the Japanese American women's experience), and Narrow Interior Roads.  As TBC's resident costume designer she collaborated with Seán Curran, Laszlo Berdo, Peter Anastos, Daniel Pelzig, Donald Byrd, Thang Dao, among others—and adapted the original design for José Limón's Concerto Grosso and Psalm (staged by Jennifer Scanlon),  Martha Graham's Night Journey (staged by Yuriko), Bournonville's Napoli (staged by Laura Young), and Anna Sokolow's Dream in Magritte, Magritte (staged by Jimmy May).  In 2003 and 2008, she received the Outstanding Faculty Award, by the Student Government Association.

At Harvard University, she was Resident Fellow in the Administrative Fellowship Program '95-96, guest speaker at the Center for the Study of World Religions on Japanese Culture through Dance –history and comparison with America; at Radcliffe College was the first speaker for the arts at the 10th Annual Women's Leadership Project.  As Radcliffe Dance Program coordinator, she developed the student indices, directed the semi-annual Dance Summit to include all movement arts on campus (17 clubs), increased enrollment to over 300 students (not including club enrollments), interviewed potential students interested in dance for the Office of Admissions, hosted dance guest artists on campus, and administered the dance office.    

Emiko published articles in Dance Magazine, Attitude, Dance Teacher, Radcliffe News, Career Choices (6th grade math textbook by Houghton Mifflin) among others.  As a multi-cultural facilitator, produced 15 Celebrate Asian Festivals for the NY and Queens Botanical Gardens.  As an educator, she taught and lectured in over 40 institutions.  At NYU, she received her MA (Alpha Kappa Delta, Kappa Delta Pi), and was a protégé of the late doyenne of African dance, Pearl Primus.   She choreographed over 60 dances.

She apprenticed with her late mother, Utako Tokunaga, an haute couture designer in the French tradition.  Together they designed and executed costumes for the TDK, which includes a repertory of over 100 works, 2,000 performances, and more than a dozen productions. .  She is currently writing about fashion "Recall, Redo, and Reuse" in the influences of her life. She has become a member of the Couture Council at FIT.  

Photo by Liz Linder

Photo  by Jim Stevens