Benois de la Danse laureate

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Mariko Kida is a first soloist with the Royal Swedish Ballet. She began her ballet training in Japan at the age of four and, after winning numerous Japanese competitions, was awarded the Prix de Lausanne Scholarship in 2000. Kida completed her training at the San Francisco Ballet School and began her professional career in 2002 with the Alberta Ballet in Canada, where she danced principal roles in works by such choreographers as George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Dominique Dumais and Sabrina Matthews.

In 2004, Kida joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal and made her company debut as Juliette in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Romeo et Juliette. For her performance of Juliette, she was chosen among “Faces to Watch 2005” by the Montreal Gazette and “25 to watch 2006” by Dance Magazine. Her repertoire in Montreal included the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the principal couple in Rubies from Balanchine’s Jewels and works by Ohad Naharin and Jiri Kylian. She also danced the grand pas de deux in Mats Ek’s Appartement and Aurora in his Sleeping Beauty. In 2008, she was promoted to first soloist and the same year was invited to dance in the memorial gala concert in honor of Prince Takamado of Japan.

In 2009, Kida left Canada join the Gothenburg Ballet in Sweden. Working with Mats Ek, she again danced Aurora in his Sleeping Beauty and was named one of the Outstanding Dancers of the Year in 2010 by Dance Europe. In Gothenburg, Kida expanded her repertoire through working such other noted choreographers as Sasha Waltz, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, and Medhi Walerski. In 2011, together with fellow Japanese colleagues, she helped to organize a charity gala concert in aid of victims of the natural disaster in Japan.

Kida joined the Royal Swedish Ballet in 2012 and immediately assumed leading roles in works by Stijn Celis, Johan Inger, Orjan Andersson and Emmanuel Gat. In 2013, she danced the role of Julia in the world premiere of Mats Ek’s Julia och Romeo.