OHARA NorikoARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF BALLET & DANCE
In 1999, after working in the UK for many years, I returned to Tokyo to join the National Ballet of Japan (NBJ), which was founded in 1997. I became Assistant Artistic Director in 2010 followed by Artistic Director in 2014. I have proudly watched the NBJ develop and grow to perform to international standards.
I believe it is essential that our dancers are provided with a diverse repertoire in order to enhance their technical development and experience. Over the past 20 years, the company has built up a wide repertoire from 19th and 20th century classical masterpieces to important works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, orges Balanchine, Roland Petit, Asami Maki, David Bintley as well as a range of renowned contemporary, experimental choreographers.
As Artistic Director, it is my responsibility to present world-class productions - this is a responsibility I accept with complete sincerity. We are committed to reaching out to our existing audience as well as building new audiences for the future.
OHARA Noriko was trained under Tachibana Akiko from the age of four, and after graduating from the Tachibana Ballet Academy, she entered the Tachibana Ballet. In 1956, at the age 18, she joined the then newly founded Asami Maki Ballet Tokyo as a Principal Dancer, performing in numerous classical and contemporary ballets.
In 1971, she moved to New York to further her professional training, working with Igor Schwezoff, Patricia Wilde and Maggie Black among others. In 1974, she relocated to London to join Andre Prokovsky and Galina Samsova at New London Ballet, and from there accepted an invitation from Dame Beryl Grey to join London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet).
After one season with London Festival Ballet, she was invited by Peter Darrell, Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, to join the company as Principal Dancer. It was an association that lasted more than 20 years. With the Scottish Ballet, she danced all the major roles in the classical repertoire including “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, “Coppelia”, “Giselle” and “La Sylphide”. She also performed new works created by Peter Darrell including “Cheri”, “Cinderella”, “Carmen” and “Tales of Hoffmann”, as well as works by John Cranko, Jiri Kylian, Robert North, Jack Carter and Andre Prokovsky.
In 1980, she toured to South Africa with the stars of British Ballet including Maina Gielgud, Petal Miller, Donald McCleary and David Ashmole. During her career with Scottish Ballet, she performed in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea and Japan.
In 1999, she became Ballet Mistress of New National Theatre Ballet (now National Ballet of Japan), and from 2010 she worked closely with David Bintley as Assistant Director of Ballet. In September 2014, she assumed office as the theatre’s Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance.
|1972||Dance Critics Society of Japan Award|
|1982||Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts|
|1991||Chieko Hattori Award|
|1997||Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the British government|
|2004||Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government|
|2012||Akiko Tachibana Special Award|
|2014||Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from the Japanese government|