Benois de la Danse nominee

Ako Kondo was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1991. At three years old she began her training at the Shiho Kanazawa Ballet Studio. In 2005 Kondo won second prize at the Japan Grand Prix, and in 2006 she studied at The Royal Ballet School’s International Summer School. In 2007 she was awarded The Australian Ballet School Tuition Scholarship, which was announced at the Youth America Grand Prix.

Kondo toured with The Dancers Company in 2008 and joined The Australian Balletin 2010. She was promoted to Principal artist in April 2015 following her debut as Giselle, becoming The Australian Ballet's first Japanese Principal artist. She speaks Japanese, English and is currently learning Chinese.

Since joining The Australian Ballet, she has performed a variety of classical and contemporary works by choreographers such as William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Graeme Murphy, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, and danced principal roles in ballets by choreographers such as Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Serge Lifar, Kenneth MacMillan and Peter Wright.

Her awards include the Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer in George Ogilvie and Peggy van Praagh's Coppélia (2016);Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee (2015, 2012);and a Susan Morgan Scholarship (2013). Kondo has danced guest appearances as Odette/Odile in Derek Deane's Swan Lake with the Shanghai Ballet (2017) as well as at the Yokohama Ballet Festival (2016, 2017) and with the Dancers Company tour (2011 and 2012).