On the Couch with Ako Kondo

Ako Kondo Arts Review On the CouchWho is Ako Kondo?
I am a Principal Artist at The Australian Ballet. I was born in Japan and moved to Australia in 2008 to follow my dream (my dream was to be a professional ballerina!). I am engaged to Chengwu Guo who is also a Principal Artist at The Australian Ballet. And we dance together! I love my 2 puppies – Ted and Choc – I am a happy person with my fur babies!

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m not sure… I am really proud of what I have archived in my life so far and have never regretted what I have done. I believe whatever I did for my life, there was always a reason for it. So if I have a same life again, I’m sure I will do the same things.

Who inspires you and why?
My fiancé – Chengwu Guo. His passion and dedication to his life and career is very inspiring. Because of his experience and history of training through The Beijing Dance Academy (one of the best ballet schools in the world). So he always has great wisdom for me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would put basic ballet lessons in general education to make the world recognize and appreciate more about the ballet, the art form.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Kyoto, Japan! Great people, amazing food and what I love the most of this city is all the buildings and streets are left as how they were long time ago. It is a great city to remind myself how beautiful my country is.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
When I’m in Melbourne, I take my friends to The Great Ocean Road. And when I’m in Sydney, I take my friends to the Taronga Zoo. These two places showcase how beautiful Australia is.

What are you currently reading?
I am not reading at the moment. I am a little bit busy with work and the play time with my puppies.

What are you currently listening to?
All the songs I am planning to play on my wedding day – includes Bruno Mars, Coldplay and some J-Pops!

Happiness is?
Spending time with my family (including my puppies – Ted and Choc) and sharing the laughter and joy.

What does the future hold for you?
I am about to guest with The Shanghai Ballet for Swan Lake at The Regent Theatre. It is my first time guesting with another company for the full length ballet. I am super excited about this great opportunity! And then back with my company, The Australian Ballet, for The Nutcracker at the Sydney Opera House!

Ako Kondo was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1991. At three years old she began her training at Shiho Kanazawa Ballet Studio. In 2005 Ako won second prize at the Japan Grand Prix, and in 2006 she studied at The Royal Ballet School’s International Summer School.

In 2007, Ako was awarded The Australian Ballet School Tuition Scholarship, which was announced at the Youth America Grand Prix. Ako toured with The Dancers Company in 2008 and in 2010 she joined The Australian Ballet. She was promoted to principal artist in April 2015 following her debut as Giselle. Ako has danced principal roles in works by some of the greats – Ashton, Balanchine, Lifar, Ratmansky, MacMillan, Wheeldon and Wright.

The Shanghai Ballet’s production of Swan Lake plays at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre for an exclusive season: 20 – 24 April 2017. For more information, visit: www.theatretours.com.au for details.

Image: Ako Kondo (supplied)