Boston native, Isaac Akiba, who grew up in the Jamaica Plain section of the city, was introduced to ballet in 1998 through Boston Ballet’s Citydance program. He then was invited to train at Boston Ballet School where he studied for the next nine years under Sydney Leonard, Franco Devita, and Dierdre Miles Burger, as well as Kathleen Mitchell, Parren Ballard, Celia Marino, Jacqueline Cronsberg, Edward Ellison and Bonnie Mathis. As a Boston Ballet trainee, Isaac received the Harry Wilcott scholarship, based on his commitment and perseverance as a dancer. In 2006 he participated in the first International Beijing Competition, and in 2007 he was awarded a silver medal at the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida.
In 2007, he became a member of Boston Ballet II. He rose through the ranks, joining the corps de ballet in 2009, becoming a second soloist in 2012, and then promoted to soloist in 2014. Isaac has danced many highlighted roles in a wide range of repertoire. Of note - in classical, Isaac has danced principal roles in "The Nutcracker" Harold Lander's "Etudes", and Florence Clerc's "La Bayadere". In the Balanchine repertoire he has danced as Puck in "A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream", Melancholic in "The Four Temperaments" and The Jumping Man in "Symphony in Three Movements". He also danced in the role of a sailor in Jerome Robbin’s "Fancy Free." Isaac's contemporary repertoire includes William Forsythes’s "The Second Detail", Jorma Elo’s "Plan to B", "Slice to Sharp" and "Double Evil", as well as Jiri Kylian’s "Wings of Wax" and "Tar and Feathers." Currently he is studying for his undergraduate degree at Northeastern University in a program sponsored by the partnership between the Boston Ballet and the university.
Isaac and Jeffrey have been friends for over 10 years. At first as students attending the Boston Ballet School and now as artists collaborating on a daily basis, Isaac and Jeffrey have danced side by side in such works as Matthew's "EinVon Viel", "Plan to B"and "Etudes." Isaac was also in Jeffrey’s first work for Boston Ballet, "oF Trial" in 2014 and "fremd" in 2015. He was also featured in Jeffrey's Collective piece "Minim."
Photo: Roberto Matteo Photography