Sumi Komo on Zen Dance

A portion of Sumi Komo’s  Weaving and Casting performance is available here. Sumi’s Dharma name is Sumi Ryoko. She writes,

Over the years I have developed a dance form that utilizes ritual, meditation, and mindful movement, wherein the dancer dances, rather than the emotional drama of the ego. This kind of dance is quite influenced by my work with Merce Cunningham. There is a moment-by-moment presence, rather than reliance on narrative, drama, or story line, nor is the dance choreographed to the music. Each element—dance, music, visual lighting, etc., and set design—is separately created and put together for my work prior to performance.

Merce's ideas involved independence of art forms and a creation that is not ego driven. He chose to focus instead on the purity and simplicity of time and space and movement and rhythm. This allows the life that is the dance and the dancer. He said that when the dancer dances, it is all there and we do not look at steps.

Merce himself had an animal magnetism that was palpable. I also felt that kind of electric energy in a very subtle way from my Zen teachers, Maezumi Roshi and Prabhasa Dharma Roshi, both of whom were also artists—calligraphers.

Further information on Sumi Komo and Zen Dance is available at her website:

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