About Yumi

Born in Hyogo, Japan, Yumi is the only Japanese Butoh Dancer in Australia and the creator of original Butoh Cabaret works. Originally a member of the seminal Butoh Company DaiRakudakan in Tokyo, she came to Australia to perform at the Melbourne International Festival in 1991.Yumi has been creating and teaching her distinctive style of works over the last 20 years and her works have received critical acclaim and garnered her and her collaborators several Australian Green Room awards.

Yumi’s works are renowned for provoking visceral emotions, cultural identities with humor and they have been seen in numerous festivals in dance, theatre and film productions throughout Australia, Japan, East and West Europe, New Zealand and South East Asia. Through her diverse skills and unique aesthetics as a choreographer, she has also extensively worked in socially engaged theatre productions with aboriginal communities, culturally diverse communities and ESL groups, women from the sex industry and also people who has recovered from gambling addictions.

Yumi is a recent recipient of the fellowship from Australian Council, exploring her popup tearoom series.

4.YumiUmiumare photo by Albert Comper copy 2.jpg
Yumi Umiumare Photo by John Pryke copy 2.JPG

Through her unique experience of living both in Japan and Australia, she has created a new genre, Butoh Cabaret, which explores cultural identities through narratives and abstraction. Her works have received critical acclaim and garnered her and her collaborators several Australian Green Room awards. Her own production’s credits include Fleeting Moments(1998), Tokyo DasSHOKU Girl (1999-2003), DasSHOKU Cultivations!!(Osaka2003), DasSHOKU Hora!!(Melbourne2005 and Sydney Opera House 2006) and most recently DasSHOKU SHAKE! (2012), which won Melbourne Fringe Festival Awards and Innovation in Green Room Awards.

Her solo dance works include INORI-in-visible,(2001-03 Japan & Denmark tour, Dis-Oriental (2004-2009, Dance and Film production around Australia) and a duo work with Tony Yap; How could you even begin to understand?(1996-2010, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Denmark and Indonesia tour) and ZeroZero (2010-, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Columbia). Her multimedia dance work includes EnTrance (Australian tour 2009-12) and Sakasama (collaboration with Bambang Nurcahyadi 2009, Melbourne, Hong Kong). The works have deep focus on traditional aspect of trance, devotional and spiritual dance,  as well as questions on ‘trance’ in our modern way of living. She also performs in the smash-hit Cabaret show, The Burlesque Hour and GloryBox (Finucane&Smith2004-2013) all over the world.



Yumi also works with aboriginal communities and theatre productions in Ngapartji Ngapartji (2006-08), Burning Daylight (2004-10) , Namatjira (2010-11), Hipbone sticking out in the Centenary of Canberra Festival 2012. Her other choreographic works includes Beyond Butoh series (2001-08), Ngapartji Ngapartji(2006-08), Girls on Boys (2008), and a Japanese/Australian rock’n’roll musical Once Upon A Midnight (2008) and Not Just My Storyas a part of Human Rights Festival 2011 with Asylum Seekers Resource Center, and Talk You Me with Brunswick Women’s Theatre.(2011). Recently she has worked in a project In bed with..the elephant in the room in collaboration with women from the sex industry.

Yumi teaches Butoh nationally and internationally.

Photograph credits from the top:Garth Oriander(EnTrance), Albert Comper, John Pryke, Jeff Busby(DasSHOKU Hora!!), 

5.DasSHOKU Hora!! Photo by Jeff Busby-Low res1 copy.jpg


THE AGE 2012



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Geoffrey Milne
Memorial Award

Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Performance



by Yumi Umiumare and Theatre GUMBO, Green Room Award- Cabaret Category for INNOVATION, Melbourne Fringe Festival Award.



Green Room Awards Norminations


"DasSHOKU Hora!!"

Green Room Awards Norminations


"How could you even begin to understand?"

By Tony yap and Yumi Umiumare Green Room Award, "Most Innovative Use Of Space"


"Tokyo DasSHOKU Girl"

By Yumi Umiumare Green Room Awards, "Most Innovative Use Of Form", Cabaret category


"Tokyo DasSHOKU Girl"

By Yumi Umiumare, Melbourne Fringe Festival Award


"Fleeting Moments"

Green Room Awards for the original score and set design


"Love Suicides"

Awarded Inaugural Women Artists Grant by Arts Victoria. Best Actress in a supporting role in John Romeril's "Love Suicides"
Green Room Nomination


Major Work Highlights



Kinosaki by Ivan 11733734_10153041719136167_1565110591_o.jpg

Yumi's CV


Performance history


Selected Reviews

“emotionally gutting, but full of hope.”
Realtimes 2013


“Umiumare gives our city an extraordinary, hilarious and actually beautiful gift.”
The AGE 2012


“she carries her audience on a journey through life, life after death, mental despair, physical delight, meditative sequences, cabaret breakouts, sweet sadness and ghoulish madness”
Sydney Morning Herald 2012


“EnTrance opens heart, body and soul to the transformations that direct the human spirit….Umiumare is a superbly skilled, exciting and passionate exponent of Butoh and EnTrance is a mesmerizing and revelatory sensual experience that will stay with you long after you have left the theatre.”
Canberra Times 2011


“There may be nothing half-hearted about Yumi Umiumare’s performance, but in keeping with Butoh’s promise, there’s nothing predictable either.”
Oz Baby Boomers 2009


‘Yumi Umiumare is a living treasure’
Herald Sun 2009


“…gut-felt provocation of passion and emotion.”
Aussie theatre 2009


‘Watching Umiumare dance butoh is like watching a stainless steel mannequin ram a knife into a toaster.
Vibewire on line Melbourne 2005


Wild extremes in fearless performance shock, fascinate
The AGE 2005


Yumi is .. an inimitable, self-made icon in her own right, with several, seemingly unbreakable strings to her bow.
Australian Stage Sydney 2006



‘Umiumare always pushes the limit when she perform…her most profound act was a sustained solo cloaked in orientalism, her body concealed then tantalisingly revealed’
The AGE 2004


‘Yumi Umiumare was not animal on the stage, on the contrary, she seemed like a deformed human being. …(she)posses the ability to make their extreme bodies disappear and transform into Butoh power. Or to make the earth disappear.’
Information, Copenhagen 2003


‘Dancing between two contrasting cultures (Osaka and Melbourne), Umiumare tactically manipulated two languages and smoothly proceeded with the whole show. The balance of the contexts and the sense of timing in each scene change was incredible. Her strategy to include the audiences was great and I could sense the audience being extremely livened up.’
Culture Pocket magagize, Osaka 2003


Umiumare’s inventiveness and physical discipline were in evidence in the way she could almost redesign her physique to embody her different characters.
THE AGE 1999


Article Reviews



3:AM Magazine is an online journal http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/ghosts-dry-bush-discovering-butoh-art-yumi-umiumare/

Weekly Magazine May 2017 https://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/meet/our-favourite-personalities-reveal-why-they-made-melbourne-home/

Greenroom awards March 2017 https://dailyreview.com.au/green-room-awards-2016-full-winners-list/57707/

Japan Times Oct 2017 https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2017/10/21/people/cultural-disorientation-dancer-yumi-umiumares-artistic-drive/#.WfhdUBOCyuW

Other written materials and reviews

http://www.realtimearts.net/feature/Darwin_Festival/11295" http://www.realtimearts.net/feature/Darwin_Festival/11295

PopUp Tearoom Series


White Day Dream



Past Yumi’s Article

http://www.peril.com.au/2006-2007/edition3/yumi-umiumare/" \t "_blank"

Peril Article
http://peril.com.au/back-editions/edition03/yumi-umiumare/" http://peril.com.au/back-editions/edition03/yumi-umiumare/

Canberra Critics Circle - EnTrance Review

Burlesque Hour

2013 Shaken out of the everyday (DasSHOKU SHAKE!) http://www.realtimearts.net/feature/Darwin_Festival/11295

2013 Art shocks, capitalism quakes! (DasSHOKU SHAKE!) http://www.realtimearts.net/feature/Darwin_Festival/11289

2009 intercultural in-between (EnTrance) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/94/9634

2006 The monstrous feminine, Japanese-style(DasSHOKU Hora! ) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/71/8017

2003 Contaminating bodies, existential dances(In-Compatibility) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/58/7280

2002 Bodies at work(Innana’s Descent) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/50/6850

2001 The art of uneasy steps(How could you even begin to understand? ) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/46/6198

2000 Mixed Metaphor: selected breakages(INORI-in-visible) http://www.realtimearts.net/article/39/5651