Ballet For Everyone
Yuka Kodama-Pomfret and the Ballet Group
Yuka and the Ballet Group
Yuka Kodama-Pomfret started learning classical ballet with Nadezhda Pavlova in Japan when she was three years old, and then studied with some of Japan's top dancers, including Hideteru Kitahara, Chie Abe, Tadao Ueda, Yoko Tanaka and Mariko Mitsuhashi. She took a junior apprenticeship at the Tokyo Ballet Company, a short course at the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg, and later joined the state ballet school in Vienna. In addition to the main group she belonged to after returning to Japan, she danced with various other companies and groups such as the Japan Ballet Association, and was invited to perform with Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur when they visited Japan to dance with a Japanese company.
She has danced many classical roles including: Odette, Odile, Pas de Trois, Spanish Dance (Swan Lake); Giselle, Princess Bathilde (Giselle); Kitri, Bridesmaid, Fandango (Don Quixote); Lilac Fairy, Diamond, Countess (Sleeping Beauty); Sugar Plum Fairy, Spanish Dance, Arabian Dance, Russian Dance (Nutcracker); Nocturne (Les Sylphides); Swanilda (Coppelia); many Russian Folk Dance based pieces such as Gopak, Partisan, Snow Flakes as a guest dancer with members of Igor Moiseyev Ballet, Moscow; and also many newly-created ballets such as Taming of the Shrew, Carmina Burana, The Forest is Alive and Underground Kingdom.
Yuka left the world of professional ballet to pursue her academic studies and, after completing a degree in Japanese Linguistics and Literature at Sophia University (Jyōchi) in Tokyo (including time at the University of Oxford as a visiting student), she returned to the University of Oxford to do her Masters degree course in Celtic Studies. Whilst studying, she taught ballet extensively, both in Japan and in Oxford, where she is still based.
Yuka currently teaches for the Oxford University Ballet Society in addition to her own private classes. Anyone who is keen to learn is more than welcome.
Our dancing is very much in the classical tradition with a strong bias towards Russian technique, primarily the Bolshoi Ballet’s method. Many of Yuka’s teachers were former Tokyo Ballet Company members, and learned directly from Sulamith Messerer, who laid the foundations of that company. She was sister to the legendary dancer and teacher, Asaf Messerer, of the Bolshoi Ballet and aunt to the equally legendary Maya Plisetskaya, whom she trained.