Company Artist with the Joffrey since 2012
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Yoshihisa Arai began his ballet training when he was 10 years old with the International Ballet Academy under Mika Tamaru. In 2005, he joined The Royal Ballet School in London where he performed in Coppélia, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, Gallantries by David Bintley, and Unwritten by Natalie Weir. The same year, he appeared before Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Buckingham Palace, performing an original work as part of an ensemble. Arai graduated with honors and received The Royal Ballet School Achievement Award.
In 2007, he performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with the Paris Opera Ballet School and was a Prix de Lausanne finalist. At The Royal Ballet, he performed roles in The Rite of Spring and George Balanchine’s Jewels, among many others. In 2008, Arai joined Northern Ballet under the direction of David Nixon. During his time there he danced in many acclaimed roles in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wuthering Heights, Swan Lake, Madame Butterfly, Giselle, Dangerous Liaisons, and Cleopatra. He collaborated with Dame Gillian Lynne in 2010, developing an original role for the 45th anniversary gala for Northern Ballet.
In 2011, he joined Tulsa Ballet as a demi-soloist, where he worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers and performed in pieces including The Merry Widow; In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated; Six Dances; Nine Sinatra Songs; Romeo and Juliet; and Le Spectre de la Rose.
At the Joffrey, Arai has performed a principal role in Sylvia by John Neumeier, landed a leading role in The Nutcracker choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon OBE, appeared in the role of Prince in Cinderella by Sir Frederick Ashton, and performed in pieces by Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, and Justin Peck, among other world-renowned choreographers.
In 2016, he created an original role for The Miraculous Mandarin, and in 2018, he choreographed Firebird Suite for The Joffrey Ballet Studio Company.