Yu Takayama was born in Tokyo, Japan and studied with Tachibana Ballet School in Tokyo. After graduating, Yu joined Asami Maki Ballet Company in 1992 where she performed her first leading role in Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée.In 2000, Yu joined the New National Theatre Tokyo as a soloist and performed leading roles in Swan Lake, La Bayadere and Nacho Duato’s Duende, amongst many others. In 2002, Yu danced with the Zurich Ballet and then in 2004 joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Yu’s favourite roles have been Madame Butterfly in Stanton Welsh’s Madame Butterfly, Juliet in Christopher Hampson’s Romeo and Juliet, a leading role in Balanchine’s Serenade and David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my SkinYu was awarded a Gold Medal at the Cannes Classic Dance Competition, First Prize in the Stage and Art Competition in Paris, and the Masako Ohya Prize at the International Dance Competition in Paris.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? "Playing with my dog Marco, reading, watching rugby and shopping."