The LEIMAY Ensemble is a group of five international dancers and performers who create body-centered works around the principle of LUDUS, a practice that explores methods to physically condition the body of the performers and develop a sensitivity to the “in-between space.” Founded in 2012 by Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya the group took form through the creation of the Becoming Series pentalogy, of which three parts have been created: Becoming Corpus, borders, and Frantic Beauty (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2013-2017). The group holds a regular practice at their studio in Brooklyn where they engage in the creation of new work as well as on teaching, training, research, and distillation of years of direct transmission of embodied knowledge by Japanese Butoh pioneers, Noguchi Taiso practitioners, and Experimental Theater innovators. Their work has received commissions by the Watermill Center, Performa, HERE Arts, and the New York Restoration Project. In 2019 they will take part in a month-long residency at the University of California Riverside where they will present past work and engage with undergraduate students in the creation of a public dance installation of kinetic sculptures.
Current LEIMAY Ensemble members include Masanori Asahara, Krystel Copper, Derek DiMartini, Andrea Jones, and Mario Galeano.
Masanori Asahara is a Japanese born dancer, choreographer and improvisation artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He has worked as a dancer for choreographers Kota Yamazaki, Yoshiko Chuma, Isabel Gotzkowsky, and Nathan Trice among others. Masanori has collaborated with visual artists, installation artists, musicians, filmmakers and multimedia artists in a variety of projects. He has been a core member of the New York interdisciplinary LEIMAY Ensemble since 2010.
Krystel Copper is an NYC based artist. She holds a B.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland, and has performed with Gesel Mason Performance Projects, B3W, Anahata Dance, CircuitDebris, Caenis at Pace, Estado Flotante, and Not for ReTALE, as well as presented her own work at DNA. She currently works with Amanda+James, and LEIMAY.
Derek DiMartini hails from Oakland, California. He likes to view dance as an extension of his passion as a creator and a performer. He has been an Ensemble member in since January 2015. In New York, his work has been performed with Mare Nostrum Elements, as well as at LEIMAY SOAK, WAXworks and Marie-Christine Giordano Salon. Derek graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a BA in Theater Studies.
Mario Galeano is a visual and performance artist from Paraguay. They instill elements of photography, dance, and theater to create visual koans. For 8 years, Mario’s been part of Teatro Studio Sur Repertoire, where they studied acting and performed numerous plays. They’ve danced in Lucy Kerr’s while you were away, The World of Wrestling, and I Feel The Earth Move. Mario has had the honor to work with the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, a program for young adults leading towards self-empowerment and activism.
Andrea Jones has been working with LEIMAY since 2012 and is a core LEIMAY member. She is also an active contributor to the development of the LEIMAY Ludus Training program. Andrea is a graduate of George Mason University, where she double majored in dance and comparative literature with a focus in Asian literature. In addition to being a certified yoga instructor, she has experience in martial arts such as tai chi and karate. In 2016-2017, she lived in Japan studying and training in Noguchi Taiso with Mari Osanai and other teachers.