Koto Ishihara. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
Koto Ishihara was born in Nagoya, Japan and trained at the Shiho Kanazawa Ballet School in Japan, The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida and San Francisco Ballet School. She danced with San Francisco Ballet as a Soloist before she joined The National Ballet of Canada as a First Soloist in 2019 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2021.
Most recently, Koto made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Second Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Her repertoire with the National Ballet includes Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Chaconne, Etudes, Chroma, Piano Concerto #1, Petite Mort and Orpheus Alive.
With San Francisco Ballet, she has danced principal roles in Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, RAkU, Suite en Blanc, The Kingdom of the Shades, Raymonda, Swimmer, Brahms Quartet, The Chairman Dances – Quartet for Two, Divertimento No.15, The Four Temperaments and Serenade.
In 2010, Koto won first place at Youth America Grand Prix San Francisco and the silver medal at The International Dance Festival TANZOLYMP. She placed third in 2005 at the Japan Grand Prix and in 2004, she placed first at The Ballet Competition for Youth and third at Competition 21.
Born: Nagoya, Japan
Trained: Shiho Kanazawa Ballet School in Japan, The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida and San Francisco Ballet School
Joined as a First Soloist: 2019
Principal Dancer since: 2021