LAINIE SAKAKURA co-founder/co-artistic director
Director, choreographer, writer, educator, mother of two and advocate for diversity and inclusion through arts education. Sakakura produced and directed nearly 30 multicultural performance events as a former 7-year co-chair of PS 87 Culture & Community Committee.
Teaching Career of 32 years including NYU Tisch New Studio Broadway, Pace University, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, CAP 21, University of the Arts, Jacob's Pillow, Steps NYC, Broadway Dance Center, Alonzo King LINES Ballet Center, New Jersey Ballet, and owned Dance Theatre Arts in CA where I developed a successful curriculum for toddlers, pre-professionals, and adults with husband, Alex Sanchez. I have experience teaching students with learning and emotional challenges that include but not limited to ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger, dyscalculia, muscular and visual impairment.
Professional Performing Career: Ballet Hispanico in 1988 after training with San Francisco Ballet 8 years. Since then, Sakakura has been in 6 original Broadway casts: The King And I 2015 revival starring Ken Watanabe and 1996 revival starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Fosse (onstage dance captain, dance reconstruction), Chita Rivera The Dancer's Life, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Flower Drum Song (revival). Also in NYC: Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Metropolitan Opera, City Center Encores!
Director-Choreographer - Recipient of the 2015 Joe Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography, 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography and 2003 Jeff Award Nomination. Most recently nominated for 2022 Connecticut Critics Circle Award forBest Choreography CABARET, Goodspeed Musicals. Upcoming, directing LIZZIE THE MUSICAL, TheaterWorks Hartford in September 2023. LSakakura.com
ALEX SANCHEZ co-founder/co-artistic director
Director, choreographer, educator, father. Teaching experience includes faculty at New Jersey Ballet for ballet and pointe. Dance faculty at Oakland School for the Arts then chaired the Theater Department, implementing a playwrights festival and student directing program as well as various acting techniques. Master classes: Japan for Carewaves, Mexico City for Dansing, Southern Methodist University Dance Department, Pace University, NYU Tisch Musical Theater Department, Manhattan School of Music, STEPS, Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Center.
Professional Performing Career includes 10 Broadway shows.
As a standby, he played Ramon Fornos in the Tony Award winning play, Love! Valor! Compassion! and the Fairground Boy in Carousel Lincoln Center. He was in the original cast of Fosse, Big, The Musical, The Red Shoes, Carousel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Chita Rivera The Dancers Life. Regional acting roles include: Ariel in Dallas Shakespeares Festival’s The Tempest. Tim Harper opposite Kristen Chenowith in Goodspeed Opera’s Strike Up The Band. John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth at Penguin Rep Theater. Ballet Companies: Ballet Chicago soloist, guest artist for Ruth Page Ballet, Festival Ballet, Southern Ballet Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company and The Chicago Rep Dance Ensemble.
Director/Choreographer Alex directed SWEET CHARITY, NEWSIES and EVITA, Marriott Theater in Chicago. IN THE MOOD, International/National tour. THE WORLD GOES ROUND, NYC Riverside Theater. Choreography: ROMAN HOLIDAY pre-broadway. In NYC: The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizon, New York City Center Encores!, and Amas Musical Theater. Regional credits: The Goodman Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Williamstown Theater Festival, Guthrie Theater, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Berkshire Theater Group,Glimmerglass Opera, St. Louis Muny, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Kansas City Starlight, Pittsburgh CLO, Riverside Theater, Woodminster Amphitheater and SDC Dancebreak.
Upcoming: Co-choreographing The Gardens of Anuncia with Graciela Daniele (dir/chor) and choreographing Florencia En Las Amazonas at the Metropolitan Opera, NYC. Alexsanc.com