American Ballet Theatre soloist Yuriko Kajiya has crystal-clear technique that dazzles audiences—including the “So You Think You Can Dance” crowd, which gave her a huge ovation after she performed the Don Quixote pas de deux on the show during Season 7. This month, Kajiya will put that technique to good use as one of the grown-up Claras in ABT’s new Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. With her petite, delicate frame, Kajiya is a natural choice to play the “not a girl—not yet a woman” holiday heroine. Catch her and the rest of the company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, December 22 through January 2—and read on for The Dirt! —Margaret Fuhrer
If you could work with any choreographer, past or present, who would it be? Petipa, Balanchine, Ashton, MacMillan…I would LOVE to see how all the greatest ballets are created.
Must-see T.V. show: Top Chef. I also like CSI.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? I love ice cream!
One thing most people don’t know about you: I left home when I was ten and went to Shanghai Ballet School. As a result I speak Japanese, English and Chinese fluently.
What did you want to be when you were a teen? Nurse, flight attendant, and a ballerina.
One thing you can’t live without: My MacBook Pro
Favorite city in the world: New York! I am so happy that it is my home.
Photo of Yuriko Kajiya as Odalisque in Le Corsaire by Gene Schiavone.