Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews to Give Farewell Performances at ABT, Today
Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews, both Soloists with American Ballet Theatre since 2007, will give their farewell performances with the Company on Saturday, July 5 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Kajiya will debut in the role of Swanilda in Coppélia at the matinee, opposite Joseph Gorak as Franz, and Matthews will dance the role of Franz at the evening performance, opposite Paloma Herrera as Swanilda.
Yuriko Kajiya was born in Nagoya, Japan, and began her ballet training at age eight. She continued her training on scholarship at the Shanghai Ballet School. In January 2000, Kajiya won the Prix de Lausanne Scholarship, which enabled her to study at the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto.
Kajiya joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in September 2001, became an apprentice with the main Company in 2002 and joined the corps de ballet in June of that year. She was promoted to Soloist in August 2007. Her repertory with ABT includes Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Gamzatti in La Bayadére, Gulnare in
Le Corsaire, Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Olga in Onegin, Lilac Fairy and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, Miranda in The Tempest, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Ballo Della Regina, Brief Fling, In the Upper Room, The Leaves are Fading, Petite Mort, Rabbit and Rogue, Seven Sonatas, Baker's Dozen, Chamber Symphony and Theme and Variations.
Kajiya starred in the Japanese documentaries Passion Across a Continent (2007) and Yuriko: Ballerina (2011). In 2012, Kajiya received an Artistic Ambassador Award from the government of Japan.
Jared Matthews was born in Houston, Texas and received his early ballet training there under the guidance of Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome. He attended summer programs at North Carolina School of the Arts, the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, where he was the recipient of the Coca-Cola Scholarship.
Matthews joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in 2001, became an apprentice with the main Company in 2002 and joined the corps de ballet in April 2003. He was promoted to Soloist in August 2007. His repertoire with the Company includes Albrecht in Giselle, Franz in Coppélia, Lensky in Onegin, Lankendem in Le Corsaire, Espada in Don Quixote, Lysander in The Dream, the Nutcracker Prince in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, the Head Wrangler in Rodeo, Mercutio and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Benno and von Rothbart (Ballroom) in Swan Lake, Aminta and Orion in Sylvia, Ferdinand in The Tempest, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Thaïs Pas de Deux and leading roles in Black Tuesday, Brief Fling, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Gong, In the Upper Room, The Leaves Are Fading, Seven Sonatas, Some Assembly Required, Symphony #9 and workwithinwork. He created leading roles in C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Glow - Stop, One of Three and Thirteen Diversions. In 2007, Matthews represented ABT in the Erik Bruhn Competition.
Following their final performances with ABT, Kajiya and Matthews will join Houston Ballet as first soloists.
Pictured: Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya. Photo by Tetsu Maeda. Image provided courtesy of Houston Ballet.