Stacey Shiori Minagawa

Stacey Shiori Minigawa 2013-14 Photo Credits

Stacey Shiori Minagawa, photo by Sian Richards.


Stacey Shiori Minagawa was born in Los Angeles, California and trained with Yvonne Cusack in Los Angeles, the Tachibana Ballet School in Tokyo, Japan and at San Francisco Ballet School. Ms. Minagawa joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1993 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2000.  

Ms. Minagawa’s repertoire includes the role of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty,The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Lise in La Fille mal gardée,Valencienne in The Merry Widow and Olga in Onegin as well as roles in Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Madame Butterfly, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Firebird, An Italian Straw Hat, Don Quixote, Apollo, Carmen, Jewels, Theme and Variations, The Four Temperaments and The Four Seasons.  

In 2010, Ms. Minagawa danced with the company in 24 Preludes by Chopin at the Cultural Olympiad at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. 

Since 1995 you have danced many roles in The Nutcracker including Flower, Snow Maiden, Bear, Servant, Spanish Chocolate, Bee, the Snow Queen and The Sugar Plum Fairy! Which role is your favourite? 

I would have to say all of these roles are my favourite because each role was given to me at the perfect time in my career. However, if I had to choose, it would have to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Nutcracker features 214 performers in every show (70 dancers; 60 students; 60 musicians; 24 singers). What is like backstage!? 

Backstage can be quite hectic and loud at times but there is always a lively energy and excitement in the air.

What is your most memorable Nutcracker moment? 

My most memorable moment would have to be the day I debuted as the Sugar Plum Fairy. It felt pretty special when the egg opened up and all my courtiers were greeting me as I walked down the steps to dance the solo.

Why do you think The Nutcracker is the most popular ballet in the world? 

The Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballets in the world because both kids and adults enjoy it equally. Plus, people like to have traditions during the holiday season and coming to see The Nutcracker every year is a pretty great tradition!

The National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker has been hailed “the best Nutcracker on the planet”. What do you think makes this production unique? 

The National Ballet's Nutcracker is hands down the best in the world. First of all, the sets and costumes are stunning and never seem to age. James Kudelka's choreography is amazing and even after years of dancing it, it's always a challenge.

You and your husband, former National Ballet Soloist Avinoam Silverman, are new parents. Baby Audrey is now 10 months old. How has motherhood changed you as an artist? 

Becoming a mother has inspired me to give joy and happiness to everyone who comes to see the ballet. Our daughter Audrey has brought us so much love.


“Piotr Stanczyk and Stacey Shiori Minagawa as the young lovers Lensky and Olga are all perfectly in the moment.”
The Hamilton Spectator, 2010

“With suppleness and grace, the other muses, Nanaimo native Jill Vanstone and Stacey Shiori Minagawa, looked as if they’d been lifted from a Grecian urn.”
The Times Colonist, 2009

The Sleeping Beauty
“Keiichi Hirano and Stacey Shiori Minagawa did the Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty with such an illusion of lightness and quickness that one looked for wings sprouting out of their backs.”
The Toronto Star, 2006