Japanese visitors

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From 18 to 23 January, a group of ten young and extremely talented Japanese dancers, led by Haruko Kawanishi, came to take classes at the National Ballet Academy. Five of them were selected by artistic director Jean-Yves Esquerre to continue their training in Amsterdam as guest students next season.

In Japan, Haruko Kawanishi is the representative of the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious international ballet competitions, with auditions and qualifying rounds all over the world. Last summer, she attended the National Ballet Academy’s International Summer School and made a video blog of her visit to Amsterdam that could be followed by dance students all over Japan.

This prompted last January’s visit by ten talented dancers aged 14 to 19, who were selected by Kawanishi. Five of them will come to Amsterdam next school year to train. They will be living together in supervised accommodation.

Jean-Yves Esquerre says, ‘Ballet training in Japan is of a very high standard. It corresponds to the strict, serious way children are brought up, whereby even young children learn to really go for the things they want. I was very impressed by the dedication of the students who came here. The fact that five of them are coming to continue their training with us next year will not only open a new world for them, but is sure to stimulate and inspire the other NBA students too’.