dancer, choreographer, educator in Jordan
Director & Creative Producer
Midan: Amman Dance Lab
Ryuji Yamaguchi, choreographer, dancer, and educator, has lived in Madaba, Jordan since 2007. Ryuji was born in Japan and spent much of his early life between Japan and the US. After graduating from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in East Asian Studies, Ryuji moved to New York, where he presented his own dance work, performed with various artists, and worked extensively with Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks.
In 2007, Ryuji was invited to Jordan as the dean of residential life and director of dance, to open a new coeducational boarding high school, King’s Academy.
Outside of the school, Ryuji has collaborated with the School of Hard Knocks as creative producer to create eight major dance productions in Jordan and Palestine. Their work has been supported by the Japan Foundation five times, the Mid-Atlantic Fund, and the A.M. Qattan Foundation, allowing 40 Japanese and American artists to travel to the region.
Ryuji is the founding director of Midan: Amman Dance Lab, a figurative meeting ground for dance in Amman. Through artistic projects, workshops, and micro funds, Midan promotes dance across the divides of socioeconomic class, language, and geographic area.
In 2018, Ryuji collaborated with Hungarian dancer Rita Gobi on a duo “Vibration”, which has been presented in Hungary, Jordan, Japan, and the Netherlands. In 2019, Ryuji was commissioned by Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts to create 1000 Gifts of Dance, a community art project where 50 dance artists invited passers-by to collaborate on 400 site-specific dance videos.