© Angela Sterling
Kaori Nakamura is from Gumma, Japan. She trained at the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet Company and the School of American Ballet. In 1986, she won first prize at the 14th Prix de Lausanne competition in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1988, she won a bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Ms. Nakamura joined Royal Winnipeg in 1990, where she was made a principal dancer. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist in 1997 and was promoted to principal in 1998.
Ms. Nakamura performed the role of the Butterfly in the BBC’s 1999 film version of PNB’s production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. She has performed as a guest artist at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Melbourne Ballet Festival and with Dancers for Life in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ms. Nakamura has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Ballet Imperial, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Concerto Barocco, Coppélia (Swanilda), Diamonds, Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Butterfly, Hermia, Divertissement pas de deux), Rubies, Serenade, Square Dance, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, La Valse, and Who Cares?; Peter Boal’s Giselle (Giselle); August Bournonville’s Flower Festival Pas de Deux; Val Caniparoli’s The Bridge and Torque; Alejandro Cerrudo’s Memory Glow; Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels and Vespers; Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat and Rassemblement; Eliot Feld’s Intermezzo; Nicolo Fonte’s Almost Tango; William Forsythe’s In the middle somewhat elevated and One Flat Thing, reproduced; Kiyon Gaines’ M-Pulse and Sum Stravinsky; Paul Gibson’s Sense of Doubt; Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (Valencienne) and The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora); Robert Joffrey’s Remembrances; Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows; Eugene Loring’s Billy the Kid; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Juliet); Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries; Mark Morris’ A Garden and Pacific; Vicente Nebrada’s Lento a Tempo e Appassionato; Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote (Kitri), Esmeralda Pas de Deux (staged for PNB by Ms. Nakamura and Olivier Wevers), and Le Corsaire Pas de Trois; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Kitri); Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering and In the Night; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Cinderella), Coppélia (Swanilda), Delicate Balance, Firebird, Kammergarten Tänze, Nutcracker (Clara, Flora), Palacios Dances, Pas de Deux Campagnolo, Quaternary, Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), and Zirkus Weill; Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances; Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s The Ballad of You and Me; Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling, In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs, and Waterbaby Bagatelles; Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia.
Originated leading roles: Andrew Bartee's arms that work; Stephen Baynes' El Tango; Val Caniparoli's The Seasons; Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance and Mozart Pieces; Kevin O'Day's [soundaroun(d)dance]; Kent Stowell's Silver Lining; Twyla Tharp's Afternoon Ball; Olivier Wevers' Shindig.
Photos of Kaori Nakamura