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Yoshito Sakuraba is the founding artistic director of Abarukas and an award-winning choreographer. Originally from Japan, Sakuraba began his career in New York City and has expanded to presenting work in Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Israel, Mexico, and nationally across the U.S. including Joyce Theater, BAM, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jacob's Pillow, Kaatsbaan, and McCallum Theater (Palm Desert Choreography Festival). He has received the Best Choreography Award at FINI Dance Festival in Italy, the Audience Award at Masdanza International Contemporary Dance Festival in Spain, and was a winner of NW Dance Project's Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition and Whim W'Him's Shindig. In addition to his company repertory, he’s been commissioned by numerous companies including Bayerisches Staatsballett (Munich), DAF (Rome), Lamondance (Vancouver), Whim W'Him, Louisville Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Ballet Des Moines II, Litvak Dance, Levy Dance, Pony Box Dance Theater, Modas Dance, Kit Modus, Nimbus Dance, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and Graham II. He seeks to inspire young artists in their artistic expression and has been invited to create works and teach at institutions such as Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey/Fordham University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Peabody at Johns Hopkins University, Reed College, Marymount Manhattan College, Barnard College, DLNY, MOVE l NYC and Steps on Broadway Conservatory. Most recently, he was commissioned by the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in Michigan.