" The more you know of flamenco, the more you realise that there are so many things to learn about flamenco... you never see the end of the goal... flamenco is not only about dance. It is about "communication between dance, music, audience and yourself. That is the beauty of flamenco. We have to be patient to learn flamenco and enjoy it."
Founder, Teacher, Choreographer, Dancer
Although Mariko is originally from Tokyo, Japan, she started to study flamenco in 1994 in Boston, US with Omayra Amaya, and her first exposure to real flamenco life was her role as house manager for Omayra’s show, which lasted 8 months. That gave her the opportunity to meet a host of artists from Spain. From that point Mariko was captivated by the magical art of flamenco.
She moved back to Tokyo in 1999. Japan has a long history with flamenco and has a second largest flamenco population after spain and in fact, there are more flamenco schools in Japan than in Spain! She continued to study flamenco with Antonio Alonso, a former principal dancer at Ballet Nacional de España and performed many shows as a member of the Antonio Alonso Dance Company in Japan. These included productions of Carmen, together with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at Opera City in Tokyo (which was broadcast on Japanese television), and with the Okayama Philharmonic Orchestra in Okayama.
In 2010, she moved to Hong Kong with her family and kept studying with many artists such as Adrian Santana, Guadalupe Torres, Concha Jareño, Pedro Cordoba and more in Hong Kong, Japan and Spain and performed in many occasions in Hong Kong.
In 2015, she has decided to pursue her career with her own company Esencia Flamenca. She keeps expanding her knowledge with learning from Spanish masters, and teaching and performing in HK, China and Japan.