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(c)Andreas Jakwerth
© Andreas Jakwerth

Yuko Kato

Yuko Kato received her first engagement at the Staatstheater Mainz in 1992 after her training in Japan. Since 1999 she has been working with Martin Schläpfer as one of his most important interpreters – first with his ballettmainz, since 2009 with Ballett am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg. In addition to the numerous roles Martin Schläpfer created for her, her repertoire ranges from George Balanchine and Kurt Jooss to Hans van Manen, Twyla Tharp, Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, Uri Ivgi & Johan Greben, Amanda Miller and Natalia Horecna. Mats Ek cast her in the leading role in the Ballett am Rhein version of his ballet »Rättika«, which was actually created for a male dancer. Christopher Bruce created the principal role in »Dance at the crossroads« for her – a ballet which Yuko Kato in 2011 restaged with the Czech National Ballet Prague. In 2017/18 she worked with the BallettCompagnie Oldenburg on Martin Schläpfer’s »Violakonzert«. Numerous Television recordings document her work. Guest performances have taken Yuko Kato through Europe, to Japan, Taiwan, Israel and Oman. In 2003 Pina Bausch invited her as a soloist to the festival »30 Years of Pina Bausch Dance Theatre« in Düsseldorf, in 2015 she danced in the Gala of the Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow. Since the 2020/21 season Yuko Kato has been a senior artist member of the Vienna State Ballet. She performed in Martin Schläpfer's world premieres of »4« (in the live time-delayed stream on ARTE concert as well as on television on ORF 2), »Sinfonie Nr. 15«, »In Sonne verwandelt« and »Die Jahreszeiten« as well as the role of the Amme in John Cranko's »Onegin« « and an old woman in Pierre Lacotteʼs »Coppélia«. In the world premiere of Martin Schläpfer's & Marius Petipa's »The Sleeping Beauty« she embodied the Forest Lady.