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Highlight from Summer Solstice Performance – June 2012

Here is a short excerpt from Komo Danceworks Summer Solstice Performance.

House of the Rising Sun Excerpt from Sumi Komo on Vimeo.

Performed by Sumi Komo during Komo Danceworks Summer Solstice Concert.


Sumi Komo

Sumi Komo graduated from Sarah Lawrence college with a BA in Dance and Philosophy and then went to NYC to train with Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown, Albert Reid. After teaching and performing in England and Wales for 10 years, Ms. Komo returned to Boulder, Colorado where she taught at Naropa University and the University of Colorado as well as developing workshops for the Colorado Dance Festival on Alexander Technique and dance. For the last 3 decades she has found ways in both performance and teaching to interweave dance, movement, meditation and martial arts to create subtlety and sensitivity to moment to moment awareness. Ms. Komo is currently the director of the ATMA (R) Centre where she teaches the Alexander technique privately and runs a Three Year Internationally approved training program for teachers of the Alexander technique.

Find out more about Sumi

I Think Not – a solo dance choreographed by Deborah Hay

2011 Solo Performance Commissioning Project

I Think Not is a solo dance that was choreographed by Deborah Hay for the 2011 Solo Performance Commissioning Project. Deborah Hay has conducted the Solo Performance Commissioning Project in Findhorn, Scotland, since 2004. Dancers attend from all over the world. Eleven countries were represented in 2011 and four of the 20 dancer/choreographers who attended the project in Findhorn, Scotland, last summer, performed their solo adaptations of I Think Not in February.

Here is video from Sumi’s performance at Mercury Hall:



Sumi teaches Cunningham technique and Indeterminancy… She trained and danced in NYC with Merce Cunningham and members of the Cunningham lineage. She has an MA in Dance from the University of Oregon and her thesis work was on the process of improvisation as it opens us to creativity and therapeutic benefit.

Most recently she has had the wonderful opportunity to be inspired and mentored by Deborah HAy whose innovative methods of dance performance and practice have opened a door for Sumi to encounter a much more honest and awake dance creativity and performance.

In February of 2012 Sumi and 3 other dance performance artists, who were in SDCP 2011 with Deborah Hay in Findhorn Scotland will be performing adaptations of Deborah Hay’s choreography I Think Not in Austin at Mercury Hall, sponsored by Dance Umbrella.

Zen Dance

Sumi Komo taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. In this piece she explores the interface between meditative movement, presence, voice and practice as it manifests in Zen dance. This is a way of being and dancing that breathes into lightness and grace. Thus the dance allows hand, heart and hara connection of the body being, flowing into space.

Here is a video of Sumi doing one of the Zen Dances from a concert in 1996 in Boulder, CO in honour of her Zen master, Maezumi Roshi. The piece is called Dharma Light, the music is by Loreena Mckinnett, and the Altar is Kuan Yin. It is one of the Kuan Yin Dances from a series of 33 dances for all the different manifestations of Kanzeon/Kuan Yin the Buddhist Goddess of compassion who hears the cries of the world!

Audience Responses from “I Think Not”:

Bravo, Sumi!! I enjoyed watching your dance. Your dance was so bold and strong. It takes a lot of power for a dance to hold the audience with no music to carry it through. You did it!! Great work. You looked fantastic, strong and able, communicating so much in the movement.

I hope you will send out more.

Many blessings,


Dear Sumi,

Well done for your lovely dance piece. You must be so happy to be doing this again.

Interesting choreography, lovely performance, impressive bio…thanks for sending.

Audience Responses from “Rune”:

Aloha Sumi

I enjoyed your very innovative dance performance on Saturday. Your unique movements brought me back to my reflections of my travels to Thailand and India. You are an inspiration to the community.



Overall, the piece had a more classical organization and look than recent contemporary dance works. This is a good thing, “Rune” had clear, well defined sections that spoke directly to its themes. Contrast with recent shows of non-stop abstract lyricism from beginning to end. Both have their places, I merely note the contrast. I loved the second section where the runes came out and danced themselves. I’m a big fan of trees in dance, and when they formed the abstract tree around the man it told the whole myth for me. Also the breaking down of the tree was very satisfying.

The unison floorwork began exactly when it needed to. It set off the longish previous section where everyone was dancing their own dance. The unison work, for me, set forth the runes’ universe where runes live, speak and teach. Don’t want to forget, when Sumi danced stage right through the early sections it was an extra layer that gave the dance in progress a sense of wholeness. Of course it also pointed straight to your solo at the end, so it was a good tie-together. That dance also framed the rest of the dance onstage, and gave it a sense of Sumi being the narrator, or telling the myth/dance as it happened, or imagining it.

The duets where the man learned the teachings of the runes was exquisitely well done. The section was very mature in that the man did not always understand or receive all the teaching before the rune ran off. Sometimes you don’t always “get” the teaching. Thank you for pointing that out.

The cellist fit right in with the dancers and dance, particularly when he played silence. I loved your play with many permutations of silence/music/movement. I’m sure you have not exhausted the possibilities. We’ve talked about your solo. I know you shortened it; I would like to see more of it, but part of my appreciation is that I have seen it more than once. So your decision to shorten it may be a better one, in the sense that it is more intriguing when the audience senses that there is much unseen behind what is performed overtly.

RuneLight Dance – Jun 4 2022