Hiroaki Umeda


Hiroaki Umeda is a choreographer and a multidisciplinary artist recognized as one of the leading figures of the Japanese avant-garde art scene. Since the launch of his company S20, his subtle yet violent dance pieces have toured around the world to audience and critical acclaim. His work is acknowledged for the highly holistic artistic methodology with strong digital background, which considers not only physical elements as dance, but also optical, sensorial and, above all, spatiotemporal components as part of the choreography. Based on his profound interest in choreographing time and space, Umeda has spread his talent not only as a choreographer and dancer, but also as a composer, lighting designer, scenographer and visual artist.

Drawing further from his now signature style of mixing digital imagery, minimal soundscape and extremely potent corporeality, Umeda’s solo works such as Adapting for Distortion (2008), Haptic (2008), Holistic Strata (2011) and split flow (2013) have transfixed the audience in major festivals and theatres worldwide.

In 2009, Umeda commenced his ten-year choreographic project ’Superkinesis’ working with dancers of distinct physical backgrounds. He explores kinetic languages by tuning into the subtle voices of the surrounding environment that only could be perceived by an acute sensorial receptor called dancers. GötenborgsOperans Danskompani in Sweden commissioned Umeda’s choreography piece, Interfacial Scale (2013). His choreographic work Peripheral Stream (2014) was premiered at Théâtre Châtelet in 2014, commissioned by the L.A Dance Project led by Benjamin Millepied.

In order to extend his interest in providing an unknown sensorial experience to the audience, Umeda has been working on series of installations since 2010, which mainly focus on optical illusion and physical immersion. His string of works combining visual and physical sensation has earned him Prix Ars Electronica, Honorary Mention, in 2010.

In 2014, he started Somatic Field Project, aiming at nurturing young dancers as well as his own movement method ‘Kinetic Force Method’. The first international debut of this long-term project will take place in April 2018 at Taichung National Theater, Taiwan International Festival of Arts.

Visit Website


Visual art, dance, mime - the definitions are redundant in Umeda's brave new world.

The Guardian, UK

If you haven’t seen Hiroaki Umeda in action, trying to take you inside his extraordinary performance is like juggling blancmange or trying to corral escaping mercury droplets with your fingers. - 5*

Herald Scotland

Upcoming Performances

Intensional Particle and new work from the Somatic Field Project
30 June - 1 July 2018
Owl Spot

Somatic Field Project: contour

Taiwan International Festival of Arts

14 & 15 April 2018


National Taichung Theater

More info here.

Synesory Embodiment

A work-in-progress performance of the Somatic Field Project

TPAM Fringe

15 & 16 February 2018

Arts & Science LAB. Sphere Hall

Tokyo University of the Arts

More info here.