Director’s Cut: Gen Horiuchi


Welcome to Director’s Cut, a fresh series of snappy, engaging interviews with ballet artistic directors all across the country. These micro-interviews blend ballet insights with get-to-know-you questions for a quick yet meaningful peek behind the ballet curtain. Whether you want to learn about a dream song to choreograph to, or the perfect summer reading book, you have come to the right place.

Gen Horiuchi, originally from Tokyo, Japan, moved to the United States after winning the Prix de Lausanne, the international ballet competition in Switzerland in 1980, and receiving a scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet. In 1982, George Balanchine invited him to join the New York City Ballet, where he became a principal dancer in 1989.

Gen Horiuchi’s Broadway musical credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance and the role of Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats.  

Horiuchi became Executive and Artistic Director of Saint Louis Ballet in 2000 and created more than 20 original works including seven full-length ballets for the company.  

Favorite Ballet Step?

Arabesque and tendu.

Best local restaurant to visit after a performance?

Dream song to choreograph to?

My dream songs are the ones I commission to composers.

Essential pre-show ritual?

Greeting audiences at the lobby.

Hobbies outside of ballet?

Hanging out with my wife and daughter.

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid?

Director of a major ballet company and school.

Ballet dancer from the past that you wish you could go back in time to see?

Baryshnikov’s performances at American Ballet Theatre in the 80’s.

Career milestone before becoming Saint Louis Ballet's Executive and Artistic Director?

Choreographing for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Alanna Love is a writer based out of Boise, Idaho. She revels in tracing the thread of beauty woven throughout daily life, especially when it is found in ballet, literature, or historical wardrobing.
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