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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Hikaru Kobayashi

Former Royal Ballet dancer


Hikaru Kobayashi in action.
Hikaru Kobayashi as Nikiya in La Bayadère, The Royal Ballet © Angela Kase

Japanese dancer Hikaru Kobayashi is a former First Soloist of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company as a First Artist in 2003 and was promoted to Soloist in 2006 and First Soloist in 2009. She retired from The Royal Ballet in October 2018. Her repertory includes Princess Aurora and Bluebird pas de deux (The Sleeping Beauty), Gamzatti and Nikiya (La Bayadère), Marie Larisch (Mayerling), Myrtha and pas de six (Giselle), Fairy Summer (Cinderella) and roles in Ballo della regina, Birthday Offering, Symphony in C, La Valse, Concerto and In the Night.

Kobayashi was born in Tokyo and fell in love with ballet through watching a television broadcast of Swan Lake aged three. Early professional work included appearing as a child model for television advertisements. She trained locally and joined the Paris Opera Ballet School aged 15, becoming the school’s first Japanese student. On graduation in 1995 she joined the Jeune Ballet de France, and joined Zürich Ballet in 1996 and Dutch National Ballet in 1999.

Kobayashi’s awards include first prize in the 1998 International Competition of Vignale Danza. She has danced in numerous galas and as a guest artist around the world, with companies including New National Theatre Tokyo, Star Dancers Ballet, Cape Town City Ballet and Sofia Ballet.