Mayu Tanigaito started dance training in Japan at the age of six. While a student, she was awarded second place in the Junior Division in 2002 and then third place in the Senior Division in 2004 in the Youth America Grand Prix in Japan, and was also a finalist in New York in both years. She studied full time at the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp, and at Rock School for Dance Education in the USA. Mayu danced with North Carolina Dance Theater before joining the RNZB in 2012.
She has performed principal roles in the classical repertoire including Carmen by Roland Petit (2017), Juliet in the premiere season of Francesco Ventriglia’s Romeo and Juliet, Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle, In the Middle Somewhat Elevated all of which garnered critical acclaim.
Other leading roles have included Swanhilda in Coppélia, Pas de Trois and cygnets in Swan Lake, Flower Festival of Genzano pas de deux, Carnival of Venice pas de deux, and in Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Allegro Brillante and the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. She has performed works by New Zealand and international choreographers including Larry Keigwin, Benjamin Millepied, Ethan Stiefel, William Forsythe, Francesco Ventriglia, Andrew Simmons and Neil Ieremia. Liam Scarlett created the role of Moth on her for his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role she has performed in New Zealand, and Hong Kong. At the end of 2016 Mayu was a guest artist of the Greek National Opera Ballet where she performed the role of Giselle in Giselle.