Yoko Morishita

yoko-morishita-2-300x411Yoko MORISHITA was born in Hiroshima City in 1948. She first took ballet lessons at the age of three.

She joined the Matsuyama Ballet in 1971 as a pupil of Mikiko Matsuyama.

In 1974, performing with Tetsutaro Shimizu, she won the Gold Prize in the International Ballet Competition Varna. For one year she studied in Monaco under Marika Besobrasova on a scholarship sponsored by the Cultural Agency, and in 1976 received the agency's Arts Festival Grand Prize for her performance in Swan Lake. Since then she has been performing on the world stage, in the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, South Africa and China.

yoko-morishita-300x423She danced with Rudolf Nureyev for the first time in 1976, and again for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in London. In 1982, she was the first Japanese ever to perform at the Paris Opera. In 1985, she received the British Laurence Olivier Award. In 2001, she was appointed the director of the Matsuyama Ballet to mark her half-century in ballet.