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SHOJI YAMASAKI is a choreographer, dancer, photographer, and a rabbit rescuer, born and raised in Southern California. Upon graduating from high school, he decided to pursue his career as a dancer/choreographer at El Camino College. It was then when he rescued his first rabbit, who changed his life’s course and made him fall in love with rabbits. His name was Roger, a hind-leg paralyzed rabbit, dumped on his front lawn by a stranger, and his rescue efforts were featured in ASPCA Kids’ book, Kids Making a Difference in 2009. In that same year, he received his A.A. Degree in Dance and transferred to UCLA, graduating in 2011 with a B.A. Degree in World Arts and Cultures (Dance Concentration) and also a minor in Spanish. Since then, he has danced professionally with Liz Hoefner Adamis/Immediate Action Dance, Merge Dance Theatre, Keith Glassman Dance & Performance, Carol McDowell, and many others. In 2023, he received his MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts. 

In April of 2017, he was the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Baja Conference Committee Member, working as a Website/Event Base App Coordinator, Facebook Page, and Regonline, held at El Camino College.

In the beginning of 2020, two of his films, Hanging by an Elastic and Touch, were selected to be included as an Official Selection in the 71 top submissions out of more than 400 submissions for A Quiet Scene: L.A. public art installation, inspired by Roger and Brian Enos’ EP Luminous, at the Jerry Moss Plaza at the Music Center for one month.

Recently, in June 2023, he performed for Chanel's Metier D'art Replica Show at Tokyo Big Sight, in Tokyo, Japan.


His works have been presented at the Jerry Moss Plaza at the Music Center, Gibney Dance, REDCAT, Electric Lodge, Pieter Performance Space, James Armstrong Theater, and El Camino College’s Campus Theater and Marsee Auditorium. In summer of 2015, his company, Ilumina Dance Project, performed as an Artist-in-Residence at El Camino College.  He is a returning guest choreographer, coach, and photographer at North Torrance High School and worked at El Camino College as a program aide for the dance department, as well as a photographer for the theater and dance performances held on campus. Balancing between dance and rabbits, he has dedicated the past 15 years taking care of abled and disabled rabbits and has rescued 30+ rabbits over the years.

His work encompasses a multitude of topics that combine mimicry, translation, and storytelling that dismantles one-sided perception and challenges the viewer’s social norms. Combining his experiences, he creates site-specific and immersive experiences that allows the audience to become storytellers themselves.

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