Miki Orihara, a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, began her training in Japan at an early age in traditional Fujima Japanese Dance. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin high school in Tokyo, she came to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School. Then received scholarships to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.
In 1983 she became one of the original members of the Martha Graham Ensemble and thereafter shortly joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers as well. These include Martha Clarke, Stephen Pier, Elisa Monte and Dancers, Jean Erdman, Marioko Sanjo, Jun Kono Dance Troupe (Japan), Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Twyla Tharp, and Robert Wilson. In 2001, she was invited to dance at the New National Theater in Japan. In 2006, she was a guest artist with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater for their France Tour.
As an individual artist, she premiered her solo work/performance "Searching Dimensions" (1995) in New York. Her recent works are "Passage", "Serious Garden" and "End of summer". These works were well received at their openings in Japan. In 2001, Ms. Orihara presented 8 women piece "VOICE" in Nagoya, Japan.
Ms. Orihara assists master teacher and choreographer Yuriko in her Graham technique classes, reconstructions and choreography. She has also been a guest teacher at UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Atlanta Ballet, State University of Florida, Arts International in Moscow with Takako Asakawa, the Ailey School, the New National Theater Ballet School in Tokyo, and numerous other workshops and schools throughout the world. She is currently on faculty at the Martha Graham School.
In 2010, She received a Bessie Award for her contributions to dance.