Stephen Kristopher Inainakame’ekuakeali’inuiokekai Nakagawa of Fontana, California began his training at the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet. He then continued to train at various schools such as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Kirov Academy of Ballet and South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Before joining The Washington Ballet, Nakagawa danced with Ballet West II in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his time with The Washington Ballet, he has performed works by Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, John Cranko, Ethan Stiefel, Marcelo Gomes, Clifton Brown, Septime Webre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Dana Genshaft, Mthuthuzeli November, Silas Farley, Tamas Kriza and Andile Ndlovu. During his first year in the company, Nakagawa was handpicked by Julie Kent and Victor Barbee to be the company’s leading Principal Character Artist, performing major character roles throughout the years.

Throughout his training, Nakagawa was awarded scholarships to study with the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Miami City Ballet. In 2013, he was awarded the first-place prize in the Youth America Grand Prix competition and continued on to be a finalist, performing in the David H. Koch Theater in New York City. In addition, Nakagawa was given a new spotlight as a choreographer in 2021 when he created Rising Sun on six members of The Washington Ballet with music by Kyoshi Yoshida.

Photo by xmbphotography.