Faculty Profile Yaya Sasaki

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    Yaya Sasaki

    Yaeko "Yaya" Sasaki

    In Loving Memory


    Yaeko "Yaya" Sasaki was a beloved ballet teacher, coach, and choreographer who was a part of the Peridance Center family for over 15 years. She was a thoughtful teacher, known for her spirit and caring mentorship of all her students. Through her movement and longtime collaboration with her husband and musician, Ron Musicus, she passed along her love for the art form of ballet to all those that studied with her. She will be missed but never forgotten at Peridance.

    Yaeko "Yaya" Sasaki was a principal dancer with Asami Maki Ballet and the Tokyo 20th Century Ballet, for which she was later appointed ballet mistress. She was trained by such distinguished teachers as Alexandra Danilova, Igor Schvetzov, Igor Youskevitch, Alfred Corvino, Hector Zaraspe, Natalia Dudinskaya, and Akiko Tachibana. In the classical ballet repertoire, she has danced almost all the parts ranging from corps de ballet through the principal roles. Her credits include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote, Coppelia, La Sylphide, La Bayadere, Paquita, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, Raymonda, and other major ballets.

    Ms. Sasaki was awarded the Grand Prize at the Nationwide Ballet Competition in Tokyo. She had the opportunity to work with Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow, Hanya Holm, and Martha Hill while dancing in their modern masterpieces. The vigorous split jump passage in Three Poems was created on her by Anna Sokolow. She has performed with the Dallas Civic Opera Theatre, the NYU Improvisation Dance Ensemble, and the Lincoln Center Dancers and Musicians, in addition to numerous appearances at Alice Tully Hall, The Juilliard Theatre, and other theaters. For fifteen years, she taught an intensive ballet course for the United Nations International School. Ms. Sasaki has been teaching ballet for many years at the leading dance institutions in Tokyo and New York, and joined the Peridance faculty in 2003. She is a graduate of the Juilliard’s Dance Division.

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