Yasuo Atsuji


Born: Tochigi, Japan

Trained: Chiyo Ishihara Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School

Joined: 2006, First Soloist 2017, Principal 2018

Other companies: National Ballet of Japan (2011-13). 

Guest performances: The Sleeping Beauty with Miyako Yoshida for a Kirov New Year gala; Prix de Lausanne gala in Tokyo. 

Most important ballet: Swan Lake – it was the first full-length ballet I danced with my wife and fellow dancer Nao Sakuma, and Nao’s first ballet after giving birth to our daughter. 

Proudest on-stage moment: When I made my debut as the Prince in The Nutcracker and my mother came from Japan to watch.

With Birmingham Royal Ballet
Frederick Ashton: Daphnis and Chloë (Pan), La Fille mal gardée (Colas)
David Bintley: The Tempest (Prospero), The Prince of the Pagodas (Salamander Prince), Edward II (Baron), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Flowers of the Forest ('Scottish Ballad' lead role), Carmina burana, 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café (Brazilian Woolly Monkey, 'Now Nothing'), Galanteries, Sylvia (Orion, Pirate), Cinderella (Prince), E=mc² ('Energy'), The King Dances (Cardinal Mazarin)
John Cranko: Brouillards ('Des Pas sur la neige'), Card Game (Six of Hearts), The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio)
Hans van Manen: 5 Tangos (principal couple)
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo, Tybalt, Mandolin Dance lead), Concerto (Second movement)
Peter Wright: The Nutcracker (Prince, Drosselmeyer), Swan Lake (Prince Seigfried), Coppélia ('Call to Arms' lead), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund, Bluebird, Cavalier)

With the National Ballet of Japan
The Nutcracker (Prince), Anna Karenina (Vronsky), Cinderella (Prince), Giselle (Albrecht) and Don Quixote (Basilio)