Meet Nobuhiro Terada: the Ukrainian National Ballet's new artistic director

National Ukrainian Ballet appoints first Japanese artistic director
National Ukrainian Ballet appoints first Japanese artistic director   -   Copyright  AP Photo
By Theo Farrant  with EBU

Ukraine's National Ballet company has appointed a Japanese instructor, Terada Nobuhiro, to its top post of artistic director. 

Formerly known as the Kyiv Ballet, it's one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the former Soviet Union and Nobuhiro is the first Japanese national to assume the position. 

Nabuhiro, who began the job last month, said his aim is "to bring in a new era, while also protecting Ukrainian art, culture, and history". 

Who is Terada Nobuhiro?

The 46-year-old Kyoto native built his career as a ballet dancer after he arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 1987 as a student, at the age of 11, and he went on to dance for the Kyiv Ballet for around 20 years.

Nobuhiro achieved great success throughout his dancing career and was named People's Artist of Ukraine in 2015, in honour of his many years of artistic achievements. 

He later served as the artistic director of the Kyiv State Ballet School from 2012, until the autumn of 2021 when he was appointed as assistant artistic director of the Kyiv Ballet. 

Dancing amid war

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the National Theatre of Ukraine, based in Kyiv and home of the ballet, was temporarily closed. 

However many members of the National Ballet company continued rehearsing, despite the sounds of air-raid sirens and power outages from time to time.

Since the war, Nobuhiro has worked to secure spaces for people to learn ballet and has taught students at schools across Europe and elsewhere who have escaped the conflict. 

The Ukrainian National Ballet embarked on a tour of Japan last month where they performed to packed out audiences in nine cities.