Fukuoka International Ballet Festival 2016 – First Report

Those who love pliés and pirouettes will be happy to hear that something very special is in the works. Last week, internationally seasoned ballet professionals Frank van Tongeren and Fukuoka-born Machi Muto visited the Fukuoka Now office to break the news. This husband-and-wife duo are organising a Kyushu-based Festival of Ballet in conjunction with Minokami Mayumi Ballet Studio and Sakamoto Ballet Studio; it is scheduled to take place July 27, 2016. Visiting and local artists will be taking to the stage for a cherry-picked selection of both modern and traditional pieces. The showcase, called a “Celebration of Dance”, will take place inside Fukuoka Symphony Hall (ACROS), but there will also be a show in Kitakyushu (July 28, venue to be announced). Kaloyan Boyadjiev, a choreographer from the Norwegian National Ballet, will create a totally new work especially for the festival – a world premiere! Budding-ballet dancers can even take masterclasses, comprised of both demonstrations and practical work, with the visiting professionals from July 29 ~ 31 at Minokami Mayumi Ballet Studio. Through this festival, which draws people all over the world together in a love of dance, the coupé-ing couple will enrich and stimulate Kyushu’s arts scene.

Updates on the Fukuoka International Ballet Festival will be added as they are announced, so be sure to check back here regularly.

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Frank van Tongeren
Born 1990, Haarlem, The Netherlands. Frank van Tongeren started dancing at the age of eight at a local ballet school. Two years later he started his professional training at the National Ballet Academy, and in 2010 he graduated with a Bachelor of Dance from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. As a student he has participated in several productions with the Dutch National Ballet. After graduating he danced with the Norwegian National Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet. From August, he will join The State Ballet of Georgia as a Soloist dancer under the direction of Nina Ananiashvili.

Machi Muto
Born 1989, Fukuoka, Japan. Machi Muto started dancing at the age of ten at the Minokami Mayumi Ballet Studio in Fukuoka City. In 2006 she moved to London to study at the English National Ballet School, where she graduated in 2009. She studied one more year at the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam and joined the Dutch National Ballet as an apprentice. After her apprenticeship she danced with the Norwegian National Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet. From August, she will join the State Ballet of Georgia as a Soloist dancer under the direction of Nina Ananiashvili.

Frank and Machi are keen to hear from anyone interested in assisting with promotion of the event or potential sponsors. Contact them here…
Frank van Tongeren: frankvantongeren@fibf.org (English)
Machi Muto: machimuto@fibf.org (Japanese)

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Performers (tentative):
Nao Sakuma, 佐久間奈緒, born in Fukuoka. Currently a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Miharu Maki, 槇美晴, born in Fukuoka. Currently a dancer with the Norwegian National Ballet.
Maiko Tsutsumi, 堤麻衣子, born in Fukuoka. Currently a grand sujet dancer with the Dutch National Ballet (she also studied in Holland).
Machi Muto, 武藤万知, born in Fukuoka. Currently a soloist dancer with Nina Ananiashvili’s State Ballet of Georgia.
Miho Ogimoto, 荻本美穂, born in Fukuoka. Currently a principal dancer with the Czech National Ballet.
Yasuo Atsuji, 厚地康雄, born in Tochigi. Currently a soloist dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Yonen Takano, 高野陽年, born in Nara. Currently a soloist dancer with Nina Ananiashvili’s State Ballet of Georgia.
Yoel Carreno, born in Cuba. Currently a principal dancer with the Norwegian National Ballet.
Sonia Vinograd, born in Spain. Currently a dancer with the Norwegian National Ballet.
Candice Adea, born in Manila, Philippines. Currently a dancer with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio (Prize winner of several international ballet competitions).
Nuca Chekurashvili, born in Tbilisi, Georgia. Currently a soloist dancer with Nina Ananiashvili’s State Ballet of Georgia.
Douwe Dekkers, from The Netherlands. Currently a dancer with the Norwegian National Ballet.
Frank van Tongeren, from The Netherlands, currently a soloist dancer with Nina Ananiashvili’s State Ballet of Georgia.

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