The 15th World Ballet Festival Press Conference was held on March 5, 2018 in Tokyo by Norio Takahashi, Executive Director of Japan Performing Arts Foundation and Kazuya Kitagawa, Executive Officer, General Manager of Advertising Department of KOSÉ Corporation, the sponsor of the 15th World Ballet Festival. The triennial Festival will be held in Tokyo and Osaka from July 27 to 18 August 2018.
During the press conference, Takahashi explained the significance of the upcoming event; It would be the first festival to be held after the death of Tadatsugu Sasaki, the founder of the Japan Performing Arts Foundation and the Festival. Cultural activities in Japan had been drawing increased international attention than ever as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaches. Due to the generous sponsorship by KOSÉ Corporation, discounted tickets 'KOSÉ U-29' would be offered for every performance during the Festival.
As of March 5, 2018, 33 leading dancers from around the world including 9 new participants will take part in the event. The Festival will be opened by two special performances of Don Quixote on July 27 and 28, featuring two couples Myriam Ould-Braham and Mathias Heymann, and Alina Cojocaru and Cesar Corrales. Two different programs (Program A and B) with a wide variety of pieces will follow with 5 performances each at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. Then comes again a special performance of Don Quixote at Festival Hall in Osaka. The details of Special Gala will be announced in the end of June.
Kazuya Kitagawa explained why KOSÉ had decided to sponsor the Festival. "We care about beauty in all aspects of our corporate activities. We do not follow trends, but always hope to spread the value of real beauty to consumers and society. We thought the World Ballet Festival was one of the best opportunities to witness the real beauty presented by the greatest dancers of the world". He added "Having a certain amount of experiences in giving support to the world of figure skating, we thought we could help make opportunities to reach a wider audience to experience this prestigious Festival. KOSÉ U-29 seats could be one of the examples."
"We are proud to have been able to present the World Ballet Festival for over 40 years. I believe it has played an important part in the development of Tokyo as one of the ballet capitals in the world. We are profoundly grateful to our sponsor KOSÉ," Takahashi concluded.