Warm Philippine Weather Attracts Intl Ballet Medalist

Winning form all the way! Hyuma Kiyosawa bagged the silver medal in the junior division during the 2018 International Ballet Competition (IBC) held in Jackson, Mississippi. No gold medalist was awarded that year. The IBC is held once every four years and is considered as one of the one top 3 best dance competitions in the world! Captured by Richard Finkelstein
Future Stars of Ballet The major winners including Hyuma Kiyosawa of Japan and Katharine Barkman of USA during the awards ceremonies of the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson. Captured by Richard Finkelstein

“You have a nice weather here in the Philippines,” shares 2018 USA International Ballet Competition IBC Silver Junior Medalist Hyuma Kiyosawa during one of our early chit- chat at the Aliw Theater.

“It’s warmer and I like it better than the cold winter in Japan,” he states as a matter of fact.

At only 17 years young, Hyuma who was born in Soest, Germany, moved back to Nagano, Japan when he was two with his family.

His father Hidehiko, is a pro weightlifter and wanted his eldest son to develop flexibility and made him enroll ballet classes. Little did they all know that after experiencing the magic of ballet, Hyuma never let go of this classical dance form.

A fast forward to recent events, he was awarded among many others, the junior division silver medal during the 2018 International Ballet Competition (IBC) held at Jackson, Mississippi. There was no gold medalist on said division that year.

Victorious moment for Hyuma during the awarding ceremonies of the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Congratulated by USA IBC executive director Mona Nicholas with IBC jury chairman John Meehan for his silver medal finish, junior division. Captured by Richard Finkelstein

In quick retrospect, 18 dancers from eight nations were given awards or medals. Held once every four years, it is known as one of the three most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.

At the Jackson competition, dancers aged 14 to 18 compete as juniors and those 19 to 28 as seniors in three stages.

“I personally sent a message to Ms. Lisa whom I met last year at IBC, telling I wanted to come to the Philippines for the first time, to Ballet Manila, before going to Joffrey Ballet this July in Chicago and that I preferred the warmer temperature here. She answered in like 10 minutes!” he beamly recalls.  “My teacher, Nikolai Kabanaiev and Ms. Lisa used to be dance partners many years ago in Russia. Of course, my teacher wanted me to win the gold but it was interesting taking home silver.” Now ain’t that a cool fact?!

Ballet Manila is Hyuma’s first ballet company experience and he is enjoying every minute of it while here in the Philippines since January 25 and before joining Joffrey Ballet this July in Chicago as a new-hire company member.
Aside from his charming boyish Japanese looks, Hyuma is noted for displaying his flawless leaps and high jumps and hypnotizing pirouettes every time he performs and makes sure it is partnered with a smile. Ace photographer Stan dela Cruz snaps Hyuma’s world class moments during his rendition of Ali’s Variation from Le Corsaire during Ballet Manila’s DEUX production held last March 2-10, 2019 at the Aliw Theater.
Very grateful to Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Osias Barroso of Ballet Manila for his further learnings and progress and interesting show guestings.
Like brother, like sister! Hyuma’s only sister, 15 year old Asuka is also a ballet dancer since she was five. Asuka studies the dance in City Ballet of San Francisco and goes to the same school in Woodside International High School just like her dear big brother.

Hyuma is very happy with how he is living his dream as part of his growth as a dancer. After having stayed in different cities while growing up through much deserved full scholarships, he regularly calls and Face Time’s with his parents especially his mom, Ms. Emiko and sister Asuka to update them on his goings on and activities. He has a very supportive and loving family who are proud of his string of accolades and success.

You will be delighted to know that Hyuma has great sense of humour and a sunny disposition in life! Just about right for a 17 year old teener with a bright future ahead.
Hyuma partners with Ballet Manila soloist, Jasmine Pearl Dames for their Diana Et Acteon production number for DEUX, a season closer grand production by the company held this March 2-10. 2019 weekend.. Hyuma has also interpreted this well loved classic piece many, many times while growing up as a dancer. Photo by Stan dela Cruz.




“As a ballet dancer, you have to take care of your body. because you only have one instrument. and you have to be careful not to break it.”

“The people at Ballet Manila are so warm, caring. And I am very thankful to also have new dancer friends here.” Most of Hyuma’s circle of friends are dancers from Ukraine, Japan and in the US and elsewhere. He has been in touch with them from time to time.


This is just a sneak peek or teaser on the interesting and colorful life of Hyuma Kiyosawa’s life as a ballet dancer.
We spent some quality time with him in between ballet classes and show rehearsals.

Hyuma even gamely did some crazy challenges!

Do watch out for more insights and thoughts of this passionate and hardworking fast-rising dancer in the posts to come!

Follow Hyuma on Instagam via @hyumachika


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