Yoshimoto Kogyo is proud to announce the launch of a Hinton Battle Dance Academy (HBDA), a new venture with Broadway legend and multiple Tony Award-winning performer Hinton Battle, to discover new dance talent in Japan.
At a press conference held at Shinjuku Lumine on October 18, Yoshimoto Kogyo revealed that the Hinton Battle Dance Academy will run three-year full-time courses for those selected, with all students chosen by Hinton Battle himself. The tuitions fees will be free.
Auditions are to be held in six cities across Japan in early 2017, beginning in Nagoya on January 21, with further auditions in Osaka (Jan. 22), Sapporo (Jan. 28), Okinawa (Jan. 29), Fukuoka (Feb. 11) and Tokyo (Feb. 12). Applicants can apply online from October 18 until December 31 at www.hbda.jp
, though there are no limits to the number who can apply.
CEO Hiroshi Osaki revealed his desire to work again with Battle, almost thirty years on from their first meeting in 1987, when Battle brought his “American Variety Bang!” show to Yoshimoto’s Grand Kagetsu in Namba, Osaka. “We’ve been working to create this Academy and a Broadway Show where these dancers can join,” Mr Osaki said. “Our strength as Yoshimoto is to create opportunities. So with the relationship and the trust that we have, we would like to move this project forward.”
Toshiaki Kochi, Director of the Yoshimoto Creative Agency said “Hinton Battle will decide how many students will be accepted and all teachers will be foreign professionals. Classes will take place in Shinjuku. We will create a school where the teachers from the Academy will hold workshops for younger kids. We will also make an App to encourage those who can not easily reach to Shinjuku.”
Hinton Battle’s career includes winning three Tony Awards as Featured Actor in a Musical for ‘Sophisticated Lady,’ ‘The Tap Dance Kid’ and ‘Miss Saigon.’
“I am very excited to do this, the team is extraordinary,” said Battle. Encouraging applicants, he said “the most important thing is a love for dance, that they feel it in their soul, that not a day goes by that they don’t want to dance – any kind of dance – that’s what I will be looking for.”
HBDA faculty members will include Preston Dugger (Ballet), Dionne Figgins (Modern) and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (Tap), who worked with and trained Michael Jackson for 11 years. The academy will teach four kinds of dance, including Hip-Hop.
“You have to have drive, compassion, and to never give up, to improve it and get better. And believing everything is possible,” said Battle.
Applications can now be made at http://www.hbda.jp