Ballet dancer Kimoto named soloist in Vienna

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Dancer Masayu Kimoto has been promoted to the rank of soloist at the Vienna Ballet, becoming the first Japanese man to hold the title at the renowned ballet company, the company announced.

Kimoto, 25, has featured heavily in the company’s new productions in the last few seasons, and was promoted by ballet Director Manuel Legris after a performance of “La Sylphide” on Sunday, where he danced the role of James alongside first solo dancer Maria Yakovleva.

Hailing from Hyogo Prefecture, Kimoto pursued his ballet education in France at the respected Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse. After performing with Dresden’s Semper Opera Ballet, he joined the Vienna Ballet in 2008 and was promoted to semisoloist in 2011.

Last October, Kiyoka Hashimoto, 28, was promoted to a soloist at the company.