Yui Ugai

stories & testimonials

Immigrating from Japan as an already established international dance artist Yui applied to the MFA program – unluckily the program was full and she was not accepted. She quickly shifted and graduated from the BFA program in 2 years then began performing with many diverse Toronto dance companies. As she grew as an artist, she sought out more collaborative and choreographic opportunities within these contracts. She found her voice and was eager to create something bigger, an artistic piece that speaks more to her culture, dance training and her experience as a dance artist.

“I had been feeling stuck, always dancing to someone else’s work on repeat until they saw their vision come to life. I was not able to express, dance, teach or create to enhance my own vision and push my own career forward in the way I wished.” She was ready to search for her own technique and develop skills to produce works of her own.

As we all stopped for the foreseeable future last spring, she remembered talking with her mentors at the beginning of the pandemic about shifting from a dancer/performer to include creator/producer. They encouraged her to pursue her MFA at York University.

“Dance is becoming more like a multi-disciplinary art with collaborators. I am eager to grow these connections into developing my own collective or company.” After years of working within other companies she believes that now is the time to learn how to create, produce and contribute to the dance community that nurtured her growth as an interpreter. She is eager to integrate digital media and interactive technologies during live or online performances. We look forward to seeing her growth both as an artist and as a producer in the years to come.