Shōji Kōjima - Performer/choreographer
Shōji Kojima, (小島章司, was born in Tokushima, Japan
He graduated from Musashino Academia Muiscae, (vocal music course), where he studied the vocal music, the piano, the classic ballet, the modern ballet, he came in contact by chance with the world of flamenco. Determined not to return to Japan until he became full-fledged flamenco dancer, he made an oversea journey to Spain by Transsiberian Railway in 1966. Putting down new roots in Madrid, he started training at "Amor de Dios", a legendary flamenco studio. Registered in 1967 as a member of National Ballet of Spain, he made a tour to U.S.S.R. on a Hispano-Soviet cultural mission. In 1968 he was recognized by the singer Rafael Falina and he debuted as a first dancer in Falina's company long-running performance. His appearance on a Televisión Española's program "Estudio Abierto" in 1970 familiarized his name nationwide. During his decade-long stay in Spain he performed on the best tablaos of the country such as "Los Gallos" (Seville), "La Taberna Gitana" (Malaga) to name just a few, and he marked a starting of "El Embrujo" (Seville) with Isabel Pantoja. In 1973 he performed in the welcoming ceremony for the Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and the Crown Princess Michiko held by Royal Family of Spain at Alcázar of Seville. After returning to Japan in 1976 he maintains energetic activities performing every year in a new work, setting up his own studio in Tokio in 1980. The Catalan guitarist Chicuelo has been the musical director of all his performances since 1993. In 2007 and 2009 he invited Javier Latorre as director-choreographer for Poetas en Guerra and La Celestina respectively. On February 27 his company, Ballet Shoji Kojima Flamenco, was invited to perform in the 15th Festival de Jerez with La Celestina en el Teatro Villamarta of the City of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.