Kazunori Kumagai was born in Sendai, Japan. He started tap dancing at the age of 15 and moved to New York at 19. He trained at Funk University, the training workshop for the hit Broadway musical Bring in da' Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. He studied with Ted Levy, Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, Barbara Duffy and Derick K. Grant. He has since performed in many downtown clubs in New York City such as the Knitting Factory and Tonic. He recently performed his solo show at the Blue Note New York.
Since 2002, he has performed in Tony Waag’s Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival, and was dubbed “the Japanese Gregory Hines" by The Village Voice. In 2006, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." In 2014, he received the Flo-Bert Award, a prestigious award that honors tap dancers for outstanding achievement.
After Kazu went back to Japan in 2002, he made numerous solo appearances all over the country, collaborated with many artists and musicians, and appeared in several television commercials, such as for Sony’s Cyber-shot camera. He also performed in a MIHARAYASUHIRO fashion show in Milan, where he succeeded in opening up a new field of the arts. In 2008, he opened his first tap dance studio in Japan, “Kaz Tap Studio,” and has subsequently taught throughout the country including in his hometown of Sendai, which was severely damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Kazu currently lives in Brooklyn and tours all over the world. He won a 2016 Bessie Award as an Outstanding Performer.
Kazu dedicates his passion and love for the art of tap dance to the great masters such as his mentor Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and others, as well as to the people of Sendai and the Tohoku region where his family and friends live.
Sae Maeda was born in Yokohama in 1998. At the age of seven she started studying ballet at the studio of Mayumi Kinouchi. In 2014, she was awarded a second-place scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne, an international competition for young dancers, and won a commendation from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. She entered the Royal Ballet School that same year. She graduated in 2017, winning two of the school’s awards, the Ashton Award and the Dame Ninette Award. She has a glittering career ahead of her.