OHARA Noriko
Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance

The New National Theatre, Tokyo is entering its twentieth year, and the first ballet this Season is a brand new production of the two-act "The Nutcracker"-a work not just for ballet fans, but which boasts enormous popularity with audiences worldwide. It is a popular work at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, where it has been staged many times. For this new production, the choreography will be by Wayne EAGLING, who earned praise for his new approach to the choreography for "The Sleeping Beauty", which graced the 2014/2015 Season. EAGLING is active not only as a choreographer, but has worked as Artistic Director of both the Dutch National Ballet and the English National Ballet. We are confident that he understands the characteristics of the New National Theatre ballet company, and that, with the future of the ballet company in mind, will create a superb work that will become a real asset. Please look forward, also, to a beautiful stage by the Japanese designers KAWAGUCHI Naoji (set), MAEDA Ayako (costume) and SAWADA Yuji (lighting), who worked on the satging of "Tales of Hoffman" in the 2015/2016 Season.

December will see the staging of "Cinderella" with choreography by Sir Frederic ASHTON: a popular Christmastime work. In January, in what will be called the "New Year Ballet", four popular ballet gems will be performed. The "Pas de quatre" features four female dancers, the "Grand pas classique" will delight with its technique and elegance, "Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux" radiates the liveliness of movement George BALANCHINE is known for, and "Symphony in C" will test the limits of the ballet company's prowess. February will see the dramatic ballet "Tales of Hoffmann" choreographed by Peter DARRELL, April the immortal "Swan Lake", and, bringing the Season to a close, that classic tour de force of ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty", will be staged in June.

The 2017/2018 Dance Season will, for this the twentieth year of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, take "Butoh Today" as its theme. Two of the company's pieces, featuring special physical expressiveness and attracting international attention, will be performed. The Season begins in November with "MEGURI-Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land", a work by Sankai Juku that creates a unique, contemplative world of beauty and sophistication. In February is "ST/LL" by TAKATANI Shiro (Dumb Type), who has earned a name both in Japan and overseas for his sophisticated media art, such as film, lighting, graphic art and stage prop design. In March is the second butoh work of the Season, "Crime and Punishment" by DAIRAKUDAKAN TEMPTENSHIKI, who have a strong following thanks to their spectacular, humour-infused view of the world. Then in June, seeing this Season out with a flourish is "Circus" by MORIYAMA Kaiji that garnered high praise in the 2014/2015 Season as a dance project for children and grown-ups.

It is our hope to create high quality ballet and dance performances at the New National Theatre, Tokyo that are richly diverse to satisfy a wide range of our audiences. We look forward to seeing you at the Theatre.

Profile of OHARA Noriko (Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance)

Trained under TACHIBANA Akiko, MAKI Asami, Alexandra DANILOVA, and Igor SCHWEZOFF. After graduating from the Tachibana Ballet School, she entered the Tachibana Ballet Troupe and, in 1956, joined the just-formed Asami Maki Ballet Tokyo.

Chosen for the lead role in "Swan Lake" in 1962, and thereafter performed in leading roles in numerous works from classical to contemporary.
She went to the United States to study in 1971, then to Great Britain in 1974.
Joined the New London Ballet, then moved to the London Festival Ballet, then to the Scottish Ballet. Took up a temporary role at the Basel Ballet in Switzerland in 1977, then in 1978 returned to the Scottish Ballet, where she was the Principal Dancer until 1996.

She became the Ballet Mistress of the National Ballet of Japan from 1999, then Assistant Director of Ballet from 2010, and was appointed as the Artistic Director of Ballet and Dance at the New National Theatre, Tokyo in September 2014.


1972 Dance Critics' Society Award

1982 Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts

1991 Chieko Hattori Award

1997 Order of the British Empire (OBE)

2004 Medal with Purple Ribbon

2012 Akiko Tachibana Special Award

2014 Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette