Ako was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1991. At three years old she began her training at the Shiho Kanazawa Ballet Studio. In 2005 Ako won second prize at the Japan Grand Prix, and in 2006 she studied at The Royal Ballet School’s International Summer School. In 2007 she was awarded The Australian Ballet School Tuition Scholarship, which was announced at the Youth America Grand Prix. Ako toured with The Dancers Company in 2008 and in 2010 joined The Australian Ballet. She was promoted to principal artist in April 2015 following her debut as Giselle, becoming The Australian Ballet's first Japanese principal artist.
Since joining The Australian Ballet, Ako has performed a variety of classical and contemporary works by choreographers such as Forsythe, McGregor, Murphy, Ratmansky and Wheeldon, and danced principal roles in ballets by choreographers such as Ashton, Balanchine, Lifar, MacMillan and Wright.
an exceptionally fluent dancerSYDNEY MORNING HERALD
- Alice in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland© 2017
- Wayne McGregor's Infra 2017
- Aurora in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty 2017, 2015
- Swanilda in George Ogilvie and Peggy van Praagh's Coppélia 2016
- Odette/Odile in Stephen Baynes' Swan Lake 2016
- William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated 2016
- Cinderella in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella 2015
- Giselle in Maina Gielgud’s Giselle 2015
- Lescaut’s Mistress in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon 2014
- Kitri in Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote 2013
You may not know
Ako is currently learning her third language, Chinese, and plans to learn more languages in the future.
- Nomination for the Benois de la Danse for Alice in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland© 2017
- Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer in George Ogilvie and Peggy van Praagh's Coppélia 2016
- Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee 2015, 2012
- Susan Morgan Scholarship 2013
- Odette/Odile in Derek Deane's Swan Lake, Shanghai Ballet 2017
- Yokohama Ballet Festival 2017, 2016
- The Dancers Company tour 2012, 2011
In the media
A revelationThe Age