Artistic Director of the New National Theatre Ballet
Director of the Training Programme for Ballet
Principal of the Tachibana Ballet School
Asami Maki was born in Tokyo, Japan. She began ballet lessons at the age of eleven under the tutelage of her mother, Akiko Tachibana. She became one of the f rst Japanese dancers to train in the classical Russian technique. She was later to meld the traditional Japanese mental strengths with the physical discipline of the Russian school and create a unique form of ballet training.
Asami made her professional debut in 1948 in Swan?s Dream a work choreographed by her mother. In 1955 she recreated the role of Kitri with Michael Maule in the pas de deux from Don Quixote which she had performed for the f rst time two yeas earlier. Maki Asami has performed many of the leading roles in the recognized canon of classical ballet including Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle and Coppelia. In addition to the classics she has danced in, and reproduced, Asuka Monogatari, Sengoku Jidai and Unmei, works which were originally choreographed by her mother, Akiko Tachibana.
The Maki Asami Ballet company was established in 1956 by Akiko Tachibana and Maki Asami gave the ballerina and her fellow professionals the performance platform which they richly deserved. The company has grown over the years and now numbers some 80 dancers. The Asami Maki Ballet company has toured extensively in Japan and abroad. In 1990 the company enjoyed a one month tour of the U. S. S. R. , at the invitation of the Soviet Ministry of Culture, which includ?ed the world famous Marinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, and the Stanislavsky/Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre.
In 1971 Akiko Tachibana died. Maki Asami dedicated herself to investing even more time and ef ort into the training, education and development of young and professional dancers in Japan. She succeeded her mother as Director of the Asami Maki Ballet Company and as Principal of the Tachibana Ballet School.
In 1975 she established an annual audition circuit which would identify young and talented dancers throughout Japan and encourage their development in classical ballet training. The training standards that have been set by Maki Asami and the Tachibana Ballet Schools have produced many famous dancers who now enjoy high professional careers with her own company in Japan and in the international arena. Noriko Ohara O. B. E. one of Asami 1 st earliest successful students enjoys the position of Principal Ballerina with Scottish Ballet, Miyako Kato dances with the Jof rey Ballet in the U. S. A. , and Yoko Morishita stars with the Matsuyama Ballet in Japan.
In 1983 the inaugural Japan Ballet Festival was presented under the auspices of the Akiko Tachibana Memorial Foundation and the direction of Maki Asami. International recognition of Asami?s teaching ability and experience has been clearly demonstrated with regular appearances judging in major ballet competitions in Lausannne, New York and her native Japan. Most recently she accepted an invitation to teach the Upper School of the Royal Ballet School in London.
In July 1999 she was appointed second Artistic Director, Ballet & Dance, to the New National Theatre Tokyo. New National Theatre Tokyo, which is the f rst national theatre in Japan uniquely for Ballet, Opera, and Drama, opens in October 1997. Under her direction, New National Theatre Ballet produced the ballets such as Cinderella (Ashton version), Romeo and Juliet, Manon (MacMillan Version), La Chauve-souris (Roland Petit), La Sylphide (Bournonville version), Theme and Variations, Symphony in C (Balanchine), Lilac Garden (Tudor), Por Vos Muero, Duende, Jardi Tancat (Nacho Duato), Four Last Songs (Rudi van Dantiz), Carmina Burana (David Bintley) and so on.
And in October 2000, she choreographed La Bayadere (full length, after Petipa) for New National Theatre Ballet, which was f rst classical ballet revised by Japanese choreographer in the Theatre. And in 2004, she choreographed her second full length ballet of Raymonda. She revised and staged Swan Lake in November 2006.
Maki Asami has received numerous awards from the State and the Press for her services to dance in Japan.