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Born in Nara, Japan, Nana Sakai trained at the Royal Ballet Upper School and joined Hong Kong Ballet as a Corps de Ballet member in 2016. She became Coryphée in 2021.
With HKB, Sakai has danced the principal and featured roles of Clara and Italian Doll in Terence Kohler’s The Nutcracker, Kitri’s Friend and Cupid in Nina Ananiashvili’s Don Quixote, Odalesques in Anna-Marie Holmes’ Le Corsaire and Fei Nui, Lam Au Chun and Miss Pretty in Septime Webre’s Romeo + Juliet, Alice in Webre’s ALICE (in wonderland) and lead roles in George Balanchine’s Jewels. She also performed in John Meehan’s Swan Lake, Ronald Hynd's Coppélia, Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias, Septime Webre’s The Great Gatsby, Alexei Ratmansky’s Le Carnaval des Animaux and Justyne Li and Wong Tan-ki’s Galatea & Pygmalion, among others. Prior to joining the company, she performed in Peter Wright’s Swan Lake, Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère, Konstantin Sergeyev’s Le Corsaire, Frederick Ashton’s Les Rendezvous, George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and Gen Horiuchi’s Le Reve and La Vie.
Sakai was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix New York finals in 2012.
1. Why did you start dancing?
My sister was learning ballet and influenced me to learn as well.
2. What is the most challenging ballet you have danced and what made it' so challenging?
Year of the Rabbit. I never performed that style before. It was very new to me, and there was a lot of new technique.
3. If you could have one more talent, what would it be?
Singing, because every year in Japan they have the Annie musical on, and I always wanted to be a part of it.
4. What is your favourite food?
5. What would you be if you were not a dancer?
Actress. When I was younger, I wanted to be a child actress.
6. What is your favourite movie/book?
7. If you can have a superpower, what could it be?
Teleportation, because I really don’t like walking.
8. Who is your favourite dancer who has inspired you?
Marianela Núñez, because I cannot stop watching her dance. She’s so strong, and I love her.