Choreographer Yoshiaki Nakano and “Violin Pas de Deux”

Join us as PBT’s own Yoshiaki Nakano discusses his World Premiere, Violin Pas de Deux.

About Yoshiaki Nakano

Yoshiaki Nakano | Photo: Anita Buzzy Prentiss

Yoshiaki Nakano, a native of Japan, joined PBT in 2010 and was promoted to principal artist in 2014. He received his training at the Elite Ballet Studio in Osaka, Japan, San Francisco Ballet School and the PBT School. Nakano won the gold medal at the 2013 Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition in China and the silver medal at the 2010 World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida. In 2014, Dance Magazine named Nakano among its top “25 Dancers to Watch.”

Yoshiaki has performed the roles of Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Basilio in Don Quixote, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Solor and The Golden Idol in La Bayadère, Conrad and Ali in Le Corsaire, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the Nephew and Sugar Plum Cavalier in The Nutcracker and Tony in West Side Story Suite. He also has performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Divertimento No.15, Rubies and Western Symphony, Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Sinfonietta, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and Jerome Robbins’s In the Night. 

Nakano has choreographed more than 50 works, including pieces for PBT, Point Park University and multiple schools and companies in Japan. 

He was named a PBT Choreographer-in-Residence in 2023.  

About Violin Pas de Deux

Max Bruch
Max Bruch


A romantic classical pas de deux, Nakano draws inspiration from the studio, the dancers, and the music when he choreographs. 


Violin Pas de Deux is set to music from Max Bruch, a 19th-century German composer and violinist. Creating movement from a piece of music hundreds of years old, Nakano comments that his favorite part of choreographing this piece has been “finding some old and new choreography, especially in the partnering.”


• Watch PBT principal artists Hannah Carter and Lucius Kirst perform Violin Pas de Deux on Saturday, April 6th at 2pm and Sunday, April 7th at 2pm.

• Watch PBT soloists Jessica McCann and William Moore perform Violin Pas de Deux on Friday, April 5th at 7:30pm and Saturday, April 6th at 7:30pm.

Fun Facts

Yoshiaki Nakano | Photo: Rich Sofranko
  • Nakano’s choreography style is Neo-classical but he loves the super-classical style as well
  • Nakano is married to PBT soloist Jessica McCann
  • Nakano loves Pittsburgh because of the historic architecture and good restaurants
  • Nakano owns an online ballet shop called “Ballet Gen”
  • Nakano’s favorite role he’s ever played was Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet
  • A defining role in Nakano’s career was debuting in Swan Lake as the Prince:

“The first time performing a full-length ballet is an experience that you will never forget. You grow as a dancer, artist and human.”

Read more about Nakano here.

Join us for Violin Pas de Deux and three other stunning pieces in Spring Mix from April 5-7, 2024 at the Benedum Center. Purchase tickets here!