Dancer Miyako Yoshida Gives Final Performance

Dancer Miyako Yoshida gives final performance

Japanese ballet dancer Miyako Yoshida has wrapped up her career with a final performance in Tokyo.

Yoshida danced as a principal with Britain's Royal Ballet for 22 years. She was the first Japanese woman to reach the company's highest rank.

Yoshida, now 53 years old, announced her retirement in January. The final performance took place on Thursday at Tokyo's New National Theatre.

The program included "Cinderella," which Yoshida performed in London when she retired from the Royal Ballet. In "Birthday Offering," she took on a part she had never performed before.

Yoshida ended with "The Mirror Walkers," a calm and gentle piece.

In curtain calls, the ovation from the packed theater lasted more than 15 minutes.

A junior high school student said she admires Yoshida and has been practicing hard to become a ballet dancer like her.

Yoshida is slated to become the artistic director of the New National Theatre's ballet and dance department in September next year.

She plans to focus on fostering young dancers to raise the level of Japan's ballet.