Growing up in Osaka, Japan, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Yoshiaki Nakano studied at his mother’s (Mitsuko’s) ballet studio. Though she was never harder on him than she was on other students, she taught her son from an early age that he must be constantly thinking beyond what’s happening in the moment.
“She would always tell me, ‘Even if you’re just doing a variation, you have to think about the entire full-length ballet. And even if you’re dancing alone, you have to feel the other people.’”
Nakano will perform with PBT when it opens its 2015–16 season outdoors on August 16 in Hartwood Acres.
Photos by Rich Sofranko, courtesy of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre