|Yasuhiro Okamoto received his ballet training at the Tokyo Ballet School (Tokyo Ballet Company.) and The Momoko Tani Ballet company in 1959, under the Russian masters S.A. Messeres and A.A.Vallamov.
He was a leading dancer with both companies, dancing leading roles in most of the major classics including the Prince in the Nutcracker, and in Swan Lake.
In 1963, while studying in New York, he received an A.B.T. (American Ballet Theatre) scholarship, and became a soloist with American Choreographer’s Company and later with the Manhattan Ballet Company.
In 1966 Okamoto went to Europe where he became a soloist with the Theatre Municipal du Chatelet and Theatre Mogadol in Paris.
In 1967, he joined Wuppertal National Theatre (Germany) as principal dancer, his roles with the company including Romeo in "Romeo and Juliette" the Prince in "Sleeping Beauty" and so on.
In 1971, Okamoto founded contemporary dance group "Okamoto & Costantine" in Paris, France where he served as ballet master/choreographer. The group performed mainly in West Germany.
On his return to Japan in 1976, Okamoto became ballet teacher of the Momoko Tani Ballet Company in Tokyo, creating 2 contemporary ballets for the company.
It was only in 1980 that Okamoto returned to his native Fukuoka city, founding the Okamoto Ballet Company and O.B.S. studios in the same year.
As Artistic Director of Okamoto Festival Ballet, Okamoto continues to inspire his dancers, passing on the classical tradition he has preserved as a student of the Russian great masters and the Vaganova System while keeping up with developments in modern/contemporary and jazz ballet.
Today Okamoto has his own professional company of technically versatile dancers, three ballet schools with over 250 students and a dedicated staff of both ballet and jazz teachers.
In addition to being the Artistic Director Yasuhiro Okamoto is the company’s owner.
Photographs taken by Mr Jean Béjart, Paris,1968.