The brightest lights of ballet gather in Tokyo for a star-studded celebration much anticipated by balletomanes the world over!
WBF offers a unique experience of thrilling and stirring performances, filled with one miracle after another!

The 13th World Ballet Festival curtain call(2012)Photo:Kiyonori Hasegawa

The World Ballet Festival is a unique platform that brings together dancers most sought after by balletomanes today, from rising stars to consummate artists. Let us present the brilliant lineup of the 30 dancers currently scheduled to take part.

We must first mention the two seasoned greats, who vie for the highest number of consecutive appearances in this festival. They are Manuel Legris, artistic director of the Vienna State Ballet, and Vladimir Malakhov, who is carving out a new path since he stepped down as artistic director of the Berlin State Ballet. Alina Cojocaru, who has recently joined the English National Ballet (ENB), is unrivaled in her depth of interpretation. She will appear with her partner Johan Kobborg, now the artistic director of The Ballet Company of The Bucharest National Opera. Tamara Rojo, who has assumed the role of artistic director at ENB, continues to dazzle with her sparkling technique. Diana Vishneva, the top principal of the Mariinsky Ballet, is known for her depth of artistry that seems to know no bounds. We will also witness the return of Isabelle Guérin, former étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, who played a central role in the company's glorious Nureyev era along with her colleagues, including Legris. Let us not forget Aurélie Dupont, who roused audiences with the intensity of her performances during the recent Japan tour, and is scheduled to retire from the company as of this season.

Among the reigning étoiles of the Paris Opera Ballet, which is considered the pantheon of ballet, is Mathieu Ganio, who enthralls the public with his natural-born star quality. Hervé Moreau, who enchants female fans with his noble bearing, will be taking part in the festival for the first time. Mathias Heymann is the standout technician from among the étoiles, and the charming Myriam Ould-Braham will also be taking part for the first time, although both are already a familiar face for Japanese fans. Completing the roster of participating étoiles is another first time participant, Amandine Albisson, who was named étoile a year ago and whose blossoming is much anticipated. From Britain's Royal Ballet, Sarah Lamb, who charms with her exquisite musicality, will be participating for the first time, as well as Steven McRae, who can be counted on to bring down the house with his crisp virtuosity, and Vadim Muntagirov, who has been expanding his horizons since transferring from ENB. From Stuttgart Ballet, we will have Friedemann Vogel, who has retained his tender quality all the while evolving as a dramatic actor. Marijn Rademaker left Stuttgart Ballet to join the Dutch National Ballet in his homeland. Maria Eichwald, formerly of the Stuttgart Ballet, is acclaimed for her striking dramatic power. Hailing from Berlin State Ballet is Iana Salenko, a technician who has cultivated a regal air. From American Ballet Theatre, we will have Daniil Simkin, whose technique creates a whirlwind of excitement at every performance, and the established danseur noble David Hallberg, who is also affiliated with the Bolshoi Ballet, as well as Marcelo Gomes, who has recently been in the spotlight for guest-starring in Bourne's version of Swan Lake. From the San Francisco Ballet, Maria Kochetkova, who is garnering high praise, will take part. From Hamburg Ballet, we will have Silvia Azzoni and Alexandre Riabko, whose expressive power has won them ardent supporters. Joining the couple will be Anna Laudere and Edvin Revazov who will be participating in the festival for the first time with Neumeier's endorsement. Viengsay Valdés from Ballet Nacional de Cuba, remembered for her participation in the 11th World Ballet Festival, will be partnered by the up and coming Osiel Gouneo, much talked about for leaving Cuba to join the Norwegian National Ballet. Still another first timer is Alban Lendorf of the Royal Danish Ballet, who is also a guest principal with ENB.

We hope that you will enjoy the bravura performances by the superb lineup of stars this summer!

The pride and aplomb of the stars will surely create spectacular fireworks! Through 39 years of making miracles, this greatest of festivals has brought Tokyo to international prominence as the ballet city of the world.

Held every three years, the World Ballet Festival (WBF) invites a carefully selected group of the world's top dancers to perform in Tokyo. As a result, the tradition and track record of the Festival have earned it a reputation for putting on some of the finest gala ballet performances in the world.

39 years ago, the inaugural Festival in 1976 shook the world by bringing together three great legends, Margot Fonteyn, Maya Plisetskaya, and Alicia Alonso on the same stage. The festival has since built an enduring reputation as a unique opportunity to witness the current state of the international ballet scene. A list of past participants and works would be akin to a review of late 20th and 21st century ballet itself. But most of all, this Festival is a celebration of the great art of ballet, in which the dancers' finely tuned bodies and psyche interpret choreographic masterpieces to express the beauty of life, deeply intoxicating the audience.

This year, for the 14th World Ballet Festival, dancers once again unite from all over the world in a showcase of the latest and brightest of the international ballet world. Participants include reigning favorites as well as fresh faces, dancing classical works to contemporary works yet to be discovered. With artists representing diverse ballet traditions, the upcoming Festival resembles a jewel box filled with solid trusting partnerships to new pairings only possible in an international festival. No lover of ballet could miss this unique opportunity to discover, savor, and be stimulated.

1st 1976
Seiichi Hasegawa
2nd 1979
Seiichi Hasegawa
3rd 1982
Seiichi Hasegawa
4th 1985
Ryu Yoshizawa
5th 1988
Kiyonori Hasegawa
6th 1991
Kiyonori Hasegawa
7th 1994
Kiyonori Hasegawa
8th 1997
Kiyonori Hasegawa
9th 2000
Kiyonori Hasegawa
10th 2003
Kiyonori Hasegawa
11th 2006
Kiyonori Hasegawa
12th 2009
Kiyonori Hasegawa

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