Miyako Yoshida, former Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet, has been appointed Artistic Director of the New National Ballet Tokyo.
The Ballet Company is part of Tokyo's New National Theatre, Japan's most prestigious centre for the performing arts, taking in opera, ballet, contemporary dance and drama. This season celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Yoshida will be the Artistic Consultant for two years starting on 1 September 2018, and then Artistic Director until 31 Aug 2024 – a six year initial contract. She takes over from Noriko Ohara, another dancer with strong British ties, having danced with the London Festival Ballet, and she was a Principal Dancer with Scottish Ballet from 1978 until 1996.
Yoshida trained in Tokyo, though finished her studies at The Royal Ballet School after winning the Prix de Lausanne. In 1984, she joined Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now Birmingham Royal Ballet) and was promoted to Principal in 1988. In 1995 she joined The Royal Ballet until leaving the company in 2010.
In 2007, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to dance, and was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 2017.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.