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Rehearsal Director and Director of Second Company – CB2

Yoshihisa Arai

Meet yoshihisa arai

Yoshihisa Arai began his Ballet training at the International Ballet Academy in Japan before he was accepted to The Royal Ballet School in London in 2005. While he was a student at The Royal Ballet School, Arai performed in works by Sir David Bintley, Sir Frederick Ashton, and Sir Kenneth MacMillan, with The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and he was a Finalist of the Prix de Lausanne in 2007.

After graduating with honors and receiving the Achievement Award in 2008, Arai joined Northern Ballet in Leeds, UK under the direction ofDavid Nixon CBE and Ballet Mistress,Yoko Ichino. He began his professional career performing in many original ballets by David Nixon around the UK and in opera houses in Far East Asia. In 2011, Arai transferred his career to the United States and joined Tulsa Ballet where he performed works by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Douglas Lee, and Edwaard Liang. 

The following year Arai joined The Joffrey Ballet Chicago under the leadership of Ashley Wheater MBE, where he gained innumerable experiences and the responsibility to perform countless principal and corps roles in world-renowned classical, contemporary, and original works by exceptional choreographers like Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Alexander Ekman, Lar Lubovitch, Cathy Marston, Wayne McGregor, John Nuemeier, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Krzysztof Pastor, Justin Peck, Yuri Possokov, Jerome Robbins, Liam Scarlett, Stanton Welch, and Christopher Wheeldon OBE. 

As a choreographer himself, Arai created several successful new works for The Joffrey Ballet such as BoléroÉlégie, and Afternoon Watch, which premiered at The Lyric Opera House and Auditorium Theater in Chicago. He has also choreographed a new Appalachian Spring for The Joffrey Ballet Studio Company in collaboration with the Illinois Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

In 2023 Arai choreographed and directed his first mini chamber opera Cåraboo: A Chamber Opera, composed by James M. Stephenson and librettist Matt Boresi and performed by International Chamber Artists. Arai has been invited to create a world premiere in collaboration with Berlin-based Composer, Designer, and Tony Award-winning choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon and Alondora de la Parra, founder and conductor of Festival PAAX GNP in Mexico. After a triumphant career as a professional ballet dancer and choreographer around the World, Arai will be joining the leadership team as a Rehearsal Director of Cincinnati Ballet and Director of Second Company- CB2 to aid in the success of the company’s vision for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.