Lainie Sakakura is a NYC based writer, director, choreographer, educator who recently directed the new musical, Corner of Bitter and Sweet adapted from New York Times Best Selling novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Book by Lainie Sakakura, Music and Lyrics by Paul Fujimoto. NYC 29 hour Equity reading co-produced by the 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company.
Award winning choreographer - 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award Outstanding Choreography for the Off Broadway show, Red Eye of Love in collaboration with Alex Sanchez. 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award Best Choreography for Damn Yankees, Marriott Theatre in collaboration with David H. Bell. 2003 Joseph Jefferson Nomination Best Choreography for Hot Mikado.
Directing style - infused with her deep understanding of storytelling through movement, born from her intensive acting training combined with her classical ballet background. Over her 32 year professional career, she has worked on dozens of original musicals regionally and on Broadway as a performer, associate, choreographer, director, and/or writer. Ms Sakakura most recently directed and choreographed Head Over Heels at Montclair State University. In NYC she has directed new works at Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Neighborhood Playhouse, Summer Stage in Central Park, Theatre 71, The Duplex, and Don't Tell Mama. Creating and developing new work is her greatest passion.
Choreography style - real people moving to music. Dance is a scene without text. As Christopher Arnott from the Hartford Courant wrote, "...choreographer Lainie Sakakura shines with ingenuity and progressive spirit. There’s a lot of casual, natural movement in the show that slyly grows into full ensemble dances." She fully utilizes the power and impact of storytelling through movement without overchoreographing. Steps means nothing without intention. If you don't know why you're dancing, then you shouldn't be doing it. Currently choreographer for Cabaret at Goodspeed Musicals and Choreography Advisory Board Member for New York Theatre Barn.
Diversity and inclusion - Co-founder/Co-chair Rockettes of Color Alumnae. In 1994 Sakakura became the second AAPI RCMH Rockette hired following Setsuko Maruhashi, who was not only the first AAPI Rockette but also the first Rockette of color. Previously 7-year Co-chair of PS 87 Culture & Community Committee, producing and directing almost 30 multicultural performance events for a NYC public school of nearly a thousand students. Co-founded Sakachez™ with Alex Sanchez to mentor, train and build a community of support for young performers of color. Most recently conceived and directed My AAPI Broadway Story: Breaking Barriers at Lincoln Center's Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Bob Fosse Choreography Reconstruction - worked on approximately 70 Bob Fosse numbers from 1994 with Gwen Verdon and Chet Walker to 1999 with Ann Reinking. Dance Reconstruction and onstage Dance Captain for the Broadway musical Fosse, Tony Award for Best Musical. Other Fosse reconstruction work includes Big Spender starring Chita Rivera and Ann Reinking for Cy Coleman's Memorial, Majestic Theatre (ASCAP). Mexican Shuffle, Gwen Verdon memorial tribute at BCEFA Gypsy of the Year, Palace Theatre. Most recently directed and reconstructed Bob Fosse's Rich Man's Frug from the musical, Sweet Charity for Point Park University in collaboration with Nicole Fosse and the Verdon Fosse Legacy 2022.
Ex-Broadway Performer - 8 Broadway show offers (all original casts), but ultimately accepted: Fosse (dance reconstruction and onstage dance captain); Chita Rivera The Dancer's Life; Flower Drum Song (2002 revival); Tommy Tune's The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public; The King And I (1996 Lou Diamond Phillips, Donna Murphy revival), The King And I (2015 Ken Watanabe, Kelli O-Hare revival). Recorded on 4 Broadway cast albums including 2015 Grammy Nominated, The King And I. Performed on the Tony Awards, Macy's Day Parade, and television specials. 2015 Legacy Robe recipient.