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In 1993, the legendary choreographer and radical ballet master Maurice Bejart created — especially for the Tokyo Ballet Company — a work based on the life of doomed author Yukio Mishima, called “M.” For the main role of St. Sebastian, the late, great French artist who died last November selected 21-year-old Yasuyuki Shuto, a soaring talent at the time who has ever since been in the top rank of the international ballet world. He has also danced for such other Western trailblazers as the Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, German-based American John Neumeier and Matthew Bourne — with whose hugely popular English AMP company he became the only Asian to date to be awarded a leading role, as the main male swan in Bourne’s all-male “Swan Lake” in 2002 and ’03.

In recent years, Shuto has spread his wings, acting in Japan in both a straight play and a movie, and also opening his own dance studio in Tokyo, where he teaches children and runs workshops.

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