Nao Kusuzaki

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Nao Kusuzaki

Executive/Artistic Director

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Nao Kusuzaki is born in Ehime prefecture, Japan, and began her ballet lessons at 3 years old at
Yatsuzuka Ballet school. After moving to the U.S. at age 10, she continued her training with The
Washington School of Ballet and Boston Ballet School. Nao became a member of Corps de
Ballet with Boston Ballet in 2001. In 2004 she joined Houston Ballet, and was promoted to
Soloist in 2009. She has danced numerous leading roles in both classical and contemporary

Some of her featured roles include: The Sugarplum Fairy and The Snow Queen in
The Nutcracker, Nikiya in La Bayadere, Madame Butterfly in Madame Butterfly, Lilac Fairy in
Sleeping Beauty, Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, and
Falling Angels, William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper
Room, Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, and Mark Morris’s Pacific. Most recently, she was invited
to stage Swan Lake and and perform Odette/Odile with Victoria Ballet Theater in March, 2019.

Nao is also active in the Houston community through producing Dance for Hope, a benefit
Concert in response to Japan Earthquake of 2011, co-creating TSURU with Asia Society Texas
Center in 2015, and directing and dancing The 45th Anniversary Ballet Performance celebrating
Houston and Chiba Sister City Relations, which premiered in July 22, 2017. In November, 2017,
she directed and danced in the revival of TSURU at the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston, TX,
where Nao was commended by the Consulate General, Japan. Nao is Founder of Creative Minds
Collaborative Inc., a nonprofit organization which seeks to create meaning across artists,
educators, and supporters of the arts utilizing dance as the main medium.

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