Juichi Kobayashi

Ballet master – Japan
© BBL - Anoush Abrar
© BBL - Anoush Abrar

Juichi Kobayashi was born in Tokyo in 1969 and took his first dance classes at the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Academy in 1979. Six years later, he was awarded the prize for best dancer at the Phyllis Bedells Competition by the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Adelyn Genee Prize gold medal the following year.


From 1986 to 1989, he was in New York and trained with Stanley Williams and Andrei Kramerevsky at the School of American Ballet, which awarded him the Mae L. Wien Award.


Maurice Béjart hired him in 1989. Juichi Kobayashi danced many leading roles until his departure in 2003, including in The Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Pyramids, 1789… et nous, Piaf, Ring um den Ring, Nutcracker, Le Mandarin merveilleux, Bolero, La Mort Subite, Dionysos (suite), Ballet for Life, Dibouk, Messe pour le Temps présent and 7 danses grecques. In 1993, he played one of the main roles in Maurice Béjart’s M for the Tokyo Ballet. Maurice Béjart created the ballet Tokyo Gesture for him, as a tribute to Nakamura Utaemon, a famous Kabuki actor.


He was invited three times to the World Ballet Festival in Tokyo, in 1994, 1997 and 2000. That same year, he participated in the Celebrate International Choreographer Gala at the Royal Opera House in London.


Juichi returned to Japan from 2004 to 2012 and worked on many theater and film productions. During that time, he also revived Maurice Béjart’s works, Le Mandarin merveilleux, The Firebird, The Magic Flute and Nutcracker, for the Tokyo Ballet, the Paris Opera, the Ballet du Capitole in Toulouse, Victor Ullate’s company in Madrid and the Santiago de Chile Ballet.


In 2010, he danced again the role created for him in M with the Tokyo Ballet, as well as the Mandarin (in Le Mandarin merveilleux) in 2013.


From 2016 to 2021, he opened the Orange Ballet School in the south of France with his partner Christine Blanc. In 2021, he was named Artistic Director of the Yokohama Dance Festival, where he produced many shows and also danced a solo created for him by choreographer Abou Lagraa.


In 2022, he participated in the creation of Kaori Ito’s last ballet for the Ballet of the Opera Grand Avignon before joining the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.

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