Kaori Kenmotsu

Senior Lecturer - Theatre Arts
Work space: St. Paul Main Campus > Drew Residence Hall > Drew Residence Hall DRH 7C

Kaori Kenmotsu is a Senior Lecturer of Dance and Theatre in Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts. She is also the Artistic Director for the Hamline Dance Ensemble. From 2007 – 2013 she was a company member of Carl Flink’s Black Label Movement and is currently a member of TimeTrack Productions. Other Theater/Dance credits include New York-based Equus Dance, Mu Performing Arts, Pangea World Theater, Off-leash Area Productions, 10,000 Dances, and Gomez Dance. From 2002-2007 she was co-artistic director of Young Dance, a modern dance company for youth ages 7 – 18 years old. Professor Kenmotsu has choreographed and directed numerous dances and plays for the Anne Simley Theater, E.M. Pearson Theater, Barbara Barker Center for Dance, Red Eye Collaborative, Patrick’s Cabaret, and Intermedia Arts. Her work with the Hamline Dance Ensemble has been highlighted at the American College Dance Festival’s North Central region and under her artistic leadership; the Ensemble was selected to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Professor Kenmotsu has received numerous grant awards for her work with Young Dance and her own choreography from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 3M Arts Innovation award, MN State Arts Board, Minneapolis Arts Commission, and COMPAS. She received her MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Professor Kenmotsu brings to her classes over 25 years of performance experience and training in many different somatic modalities including various dance techniques (modern, jazz, ballet); Laban Movement Analysis, contact improvisation, circus arts, yoga, feldenkrais, Global Somatics, pilates and physical theater. She believes there are two main aspects of performance: understanding how our bodies work physiologically, and how we can use the body as a tool when performing. The first develops strength, flexibility and kinesthetic awareness; the second develops physical acting/dance skills, emphasizing how the body communicates meaning, and the connectedness of thought and action. Students will be challenged to connect deeply with their physical self, to develop a sense of play, and to explore the creative process. 

 “As an embodied artist my own exploration has been based on the premise that movement does not lie. Utilizing all of the above modalities, I have been attempting to strip away superficiality to get to a place of openness, honesty and presence on stage (and off)... "As an educator, I am extremely excited and passionate about developing curriculum that gets students to explore that same physical openness in order to deeply connect action and thought.” - Kaori Kenmotsu