Denise Fujiwara began her career in childhood as a gymnast. While competing at the international level she completed an honours BFA at York University’s dance department. In 1978, during the first National Choreographic Seminar, Fujiwara co-founded the choreographers’ collective, Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise (TIDE). She created Fujiwara Dance Inventions in 1990 to continue her solo projects. Notably in 1993, she began studying butoh with master choreographer and performer Natsu Nakajima. Nakajima created her contemporary interpretation of Motomasa’s 15th-century Noh play, Sumida River, for Fujiwara. Sumida River established Fujiwara as a senior solo dance artist and butoh practitioner. Fujiwara premiered her second major butoh work, Komachi by Yukio Waguri, in 2005. She has taught workshops in Canada, the United States, the United kingdom, Europe, South America and India.