Message From the Director
The Ballet School has been training aspiring professional dancers since it began in April 2001. Students spend two years honing the skills required to be a dancer, and acquiring knowledge and cultivation through wide-ranging lectures and seminars, before embarking on a professional dancing career.
In April 2009, the School introduced preparatory classes for promising young dancers, providing them while still supple in mind and body with thoroughgoing training in the basics of classical ballet and in achieving physical beauty of form and poise. From here on in, the School will continue to put its all into training dancers of the highest quality.
We thank you for your sympathy with our aims and your support to date, and look forward to your continued interest in our work.
MAKI Asami is the daughter of TACHIBANA Akiko, a pioneer of classical ballet in Japan. MAKI made her first stage appearance at age four, and debuted at the Yurakuza Theatre at age fifteen. Upon graduating Myojo Gakuen in 1954, she spent a year studying in the United States under Alexandra DANILOVA and Igor SCHWEZOFF.
In 1956, MAKI and her mother co-founded the Asami MAKI Ballet Tokyo. MAKI played the leading role there in classical works such as Coppélia, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty as well as in the new works Asuka Monogatari and Sengoku Monogatari.
MAKI made her debut as a choreographer in 1968, and garnered attention for her work in MAYUZUMI Toshirou's Bugaku, AKUTAGAWA Yasushi's Triptyque and DAN Ikuma's Silk Road.
In 1971, MAKI retired from the stage to become president of the Asami MAKI Ballet Tokyo and principal of the Akiko TACHIBANA Ballet School, in accordance with the wishes of her late mother. She has shown eminent leadership ever since in bringing up numerous dancers, and continues to shine in her choreographic work.
From 1999 to 2010, MAKI served as Artistic Director of Ballet at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. She set ballet productions at the Theatre on a new course with stagings of Frederick ASHTON's Cinderella, August BOURNONVILLE's La Sylphide and the works of George BALANCHINE and Antony TUDOR. MAKI made waves in 2000 with her reworking, based on the Marius PETIPA version of the classical ballet La Bayadère, as the first Japanese choreographer to rework a classical ballet in the New National Theatre, Tokyo. In 2004, she won the Asahi Performing Arts Award for her full-length re-choreographing of Raymonda. She also supervised, directed and choreographed Swan Lake in 2006, The Lady of the Camellias in 2007 and The Nutcracker in 2009. She also serves as Director of the Ballet School since 2001 when it was started.
MAKI has been awarded the NIMURA Award (1984); the Minister of Culture Award for Fine Arts, the Tokyo Shimbun Performing Arts Award, and the Dance Critics Association Award (1987); and the Akiko TACHIBANA Special Award (1991). In 1996 she received the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government, in 2004 she was made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, in May 2008, she became the first Japanese person to serve on the jury of the Prix Benois de la Danse, and in the same year, she was also named as a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government.