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Lani specializes in introducing somatic dance/movement, yoga and meditation to people of all backgrounds and varying needs. She began her study of modern dance and the avante garde Japanese dance form butoh in 1988 as an undergraduate at the University of Hawaii and soon was invited to join Hawaii's first butoh company Iona Pear Dance Theatre as a principal dancer. Since then, Lani's work as a movement artist/educator has taken her to Canada, Mexico, Japan, Scotland, Germany and throughout the U.S. From 1999-2016, Lani founded and directed Shen & Bones Performance Group based in Erie, Pennsylvania, presenting dozens of performances of original choreography and conducted residencies in a variety of formats throughout Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Chicago and North Carolina. The company was selected for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (PennPAT) roster in 2007 and has been funded by numerous arts organizations, including the LakeArts Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Erie Arts & Culture. While still living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Lani founded and co-directed Soma Movement Arts, Erie's only private studio with a focus on somatic movement education. Lani served on the faculty of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College for 15 years, initiating the instruction of yoga and modern dance and was a regular faculty member and guest artist for numerous colleges and universities in the area. In 2015, Lani was invited to be an associate artist with Toronto’s Lbs/sq” company under the direction of Gerry Trentham.
Lani's deepest joy is working collaboratively with her students and clients, and she continues to enjoy developing courses, workshops, classes and guest artist residencies in and around her current home of Indianapolis, Indiana. As the Director of Embodied Learning for the Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective, Lani teaches regular classes and organizes workshops and guest artist residencies. Lani holds an M.F.A. in dance from Arizona State University, yoga teacher certification through the Integral Yoga® Institute, somatic education certification from the Eastwest Somatics Institute and is a certified Moving for Life® instructor for cancer patients and survivors. As a Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist (RSME/T) with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA), Lani has offered workshops with a butoh focus since 2014. Lani is honored to be a featured artist in Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy by Sondra Fraleigh and is the author of a chapter titled Decentering the Human through Butoh Dance in the forthcoming publication Geographies of Us: An Ecosomatic Reader & Performance Handbook.
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