The National Ukrainian Ballet has appointed its first Japanese artistic director ahead of the opening of the company's Japan tour, its organizers said Monday.

Nobuhiro Terada, 46, was chosen earlier this month by the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine to direct for the renowned dance company, nicknamed the Kyiv Ballet.

A native of Kyoto in western Japan, Terada at the age of 11 studied at a ballet school in the Ukrainian capital and has danced for the Kyiv Ballet for about 20 years.

Nobuhiro Terada is pictured during an interview in Kyiv on Feb. 16, 2022. (Kyodo)

In 2012, he was named artistic director of the Kyiv State Ballet School, before he was appointed assistant artistic director at the National Ukrainian Ballet.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Terada has worked to secure spaces for people to learn the dance and has taught students at schools in Europe and elsewhere who have escaped the conflict, in an attempt to help keep their dreams alive.

The National Ukrainian Ballet will begin its tour of Japan on Saturday.

File photo shows dancers of the National Ukrainian Ballet rehearsing prior to their stage performance in the Japanese city of Maebashi in July 2022. (Kyodo)

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