Message from the Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance about our 2016/2017 Season

2016/2017 Season Ballet






2016/2017 Season Dance

JAPON dance project 2016





Message from the Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance, OHARA Noriko


The 2016/2017 Season will open with a full-length ballet, "Romeo and Juliet". Not only is it a masterpiece created by Sir Kenneth MACMILLAN, one of the most influential British choreographers of the 20th century, but it is also one of the world's beloved works of dramatic ballet. Since October 2001, the National Ballet of Japan has performed the piece many times over, becoming a significant repertoire of the company. For this ballet, each and every dancer on stage not only has to learn the choreography, but also has to deeply understand and express the emotional development of the characters as well as the significance of the period and the setting. I built up my own career as a ballet dancer captivated by such dramatic ballet. My hope is that, through this performance, our dancers will further heighten their artistry and create a world on stage which faithfully portray the story and the characters.


In December, we will perform "Cinderella", a popular piece for Christmas choreographed by Sir Frederic ASHTON. In February, we will stage a delightful selection from the company's repertoires entitled "Valentine's Ballet". This will be made up of old and new works, including George BALANCHINE's "Theme and Variations", pas de deux from the classical masterpieces "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake", FUKAGAWA Hideo's "Soirée de Ballet", BALANCHINE's "Tarantella" and Robert NORTH's "Troy Game". This will be followed by "Coppélia" choreographed by Roland PETIT. In May, we will perform the classical masterpiece of "The Sleeping Beauty", and then bring the season to a close with the romantic "Giselle" in June.


As for our Dance line-up, we will be presenting four diverse performances, distinctly characteristic of the New National Theatre, Tokyo. "JAPON dance project 2016" is a new work featuring international choreographers and dancers in a collaborative effort between the JAPON dance project and the National Ballet of Japan. Then the fifth project entitled "DANCE to the Future 2016 Autumn" will feature works choreographed by the dancers of the National Ballet of Japan. You will be able to experience the height of what our dancers could physically achieve and how they manifest their creative potential in this work. In March, we will be performing "Beethoven Sonata", a new piece created by NAKAMURA Megumi for the National Ballet of Japan, inspired by the life and music of Beethoven. In June, we will close the season with our second project of "Dance Performance for Children and Grown-Ups" which was very popular in the 2014/2015 Season, featuring ONODERA Shūji's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".


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


Profile of OHARA Noriko

OHARA Noriko

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 1996, then Deputy 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