Wakako Kuhara nee Asano

'Us 50' Alumna Dancer

Wakako started Classical Ballet training in Japan when she was nine. After she won 3rd prize in the Japan Ballet Competition, she moved to Melbourne as the first Japanese student of the Australian Ballet School in 1989. In 1990 while still a student, Wakako danced in Graeme Murphy’s work at Sydney Dance Company and was offered a contract. She joined the Company in 1991 and left the Company in 2007. During her 17 years with the Company, she had performed in 30 different works in 18 different countries. She was nominated twice for Helpmann Awards for Best Female Dancer. Wakako began her choreography since 1991. She created three new works for Sydney Dance Company while still a member. From 2007, Wakako started to focus more to her own creativity. Wakako began her studies of Noh (classic Japanese musical drama), which reaffirmed her Japanese heritage, and deepened her respect for the importance of spirituality.