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Houston Ballet's Nao Kusuzaki

Nao Kusuzaki, Soloist

Birthplace
Ehime, Japan

Dance Training
Boston Ballet School
Washington School of Ballet

Joined the Company
2004

Promoted to Soloist
2008

Favorite Ballet
La Bayadère

One defining moment...
I was ten years old when I came to America to study at Washington Ballet. For the first time, I saw how a professional company worked. I watched them rehearse Serenade day after day. When I finally saw it on stage, I was completely captivated and it inspired me to pursue dance. The company never ceased to intrigue me with their versatility. I realized then that's what I wanted to be a part of. A whole new world opened up in front of my eyes, and I saw endless possibilities in this art form.

Nao Kusuzaki was born in Ehime, Japan. Ms. Kusuzaki grew up in Japan, Washington D.C., and Boston. In Japan, Ms. Kusuzaki trained at the Yatsuzuka Ballet. In the United States she trained with Mary Day and Patricia Berrend at the Washington School of Ballet and with Tatiana Legat, Laura Young, and Sydney Leonard at the Boston Ballet School. Ms. Kusuzaki has danced professionally with Boston Ballet for five seasons, she has been featured in Boston Ballet's Swan Lake as a lead swan and in the pas de cinq (solo girl); in Lady of the Camellias as Dream Marguerite; in Maina Gielgud's Giselle as a lead Wili; and in Rudi Van Dantzig's Ginastera. Ms. Kusuzaki was also featured as a guest artist in Ballet North's production of The Sleeping Beauty as Aurora. With Houston Ballet, she has danced featured roles in Stanton Welch's TuTu, Falling, and Brigade; premiered in Nosotros and Punctillius which Welch created a pas de deux.  Ms. Kusuzaki has danced the  roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Arabian in The Nutcracker; Cio-Cio San and Suzuki in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly and Nikiya in La Bayadère; Russian Princess and solo swan in Swan Lake, Prayer in Coppelia, 1st sylph in La Sylphide, and principal role in Christopher Wheeldon's Rush. Her repertoire also includes: Petite Mort, In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Five Tangos, Voluntaries, Serenade, Velocity, Four Seasons, Divergence, Twyla Tharp's Brahms Haydn-Variations and In the Upper Room; and Aszure Barton's Angular Momentum.


 

Houston Ballet's Nao Kusuzaki

 Resource Links Below


Press:
My Favorite Roles – En Pointe Blog Entry

Video:
My Houston promotional video

 

Headshot by: Pam Francis