Born in Asahikawa, Japan, to parents who owned a small Kimono business, Takeshima began dancing at the age of four in Sapporo, Japan. At the age of 14 she left home to study with the San Francisco Ballet school, soon after receiving her first professional dance contract.
Yumiko Takeshima was a Principal dancer with Universal Ballet (Seoul), Alberta Ballet (Calgary) and Feld Ballet (New York). In 1993, she moved from New York City to join the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam in the same position. There she continued to develop her passion for designing dancewear and costumes. In early 2002 she launched YUMIKO dancewear and the YumiGirl Network.
Since 2002, Takeshima has continued to develop her made-to-order line, as well as a ready-to-wear line, of high quality, great fitting, and beautifully designed dance and fitness wear for women and men. In addition, since moving to Amsterdam, Netherlands, Takeshima has designed costumes for numerous choreographers, most notably David Dawson and William Forsythe and has been praised in the press not only as a dancer, but also for designing some of the most elegant, simple, and esthetically beautiful dance costumes in the European dance world.
Yumiko Takeshima is currently a principle dancer with the Semperoper Ballett in Germany and Guest Principal Artist with the Dutch National Ballet in Holland. She continues to devote much of her time to her YUMIKO business and her costume design projects.
Costumes designed for:
The Human Seasons (2013) David Dawson for the Royal Ballet
Opus.11 (2013) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
5 (2013) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
Overture (2013) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
day4 (2012) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
Apollo (2012) George Balanchine for the Semperoper Ballett
Dido & Aeneas/DnA (2012) Darrel Toulon for Opera Graz
Bach, Handel, Berio Pas de Deux (2012) William Forsythe for the Semperoper Ballett
Killer Sweet (2012) Jorma Elo for the Royal Ballet of Flanders
Run For It (2012) Martin Lawrance for the Scottish Ballet
timelapse/ (Mnemosyne) (2011) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
Golden Partita (2011) Jorma Elo for the Basel Ballet Switzerland
Kings 2 Ends (2011) Jorma Elo for the Scottish Ballet
A Sweet Spell of Oblivion (2010) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett (re-design)
dancingmadlybackwards (2010) David Dawson for the Norwegian National Ballet
The Third Light (2010) David Dawson for the Royal Ballet of Flanders
Red in 3 (2010) Jorma Elo for the Scottish Ballet
Faun(e) (2009) David Dawson for the English National Ballet
The World According to Us (2009) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
Suit Murder (2008) Jorma Elo for the Finnish National Ballet
Giselle (2008) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
On the Nature of Daylight (2007) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
A Million Kisses to my Skin (2007) David Dawson for the English National Ballet (re-design)
The Second Detail (2007) William Forsythe for the Semperoper Ballett
A Sweet Spell of Oblivion (2007) David Dawson for the Royal Ballet of Flanders
The Disappeared (2006) David Dawson for the Semperoper Ballett
The Gentle Chapters (2006) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
Reverence (2005) David Dawson for the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet
Solitaire (2004) Annabel Lopez Ochoa for the Dutch National Ballet
Morning Ground (2004) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
00:00 (2004) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
The Grey Area (2002) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
A Million Kisses to my Skin (2000) David Dawson for the Dutch National Ballet
Yumiko Takeshima has danced the principal roles in all of the classical repertoire as well as the choreographies by J. Cranko, J. Neumeier, H. Lander, B. Cullberg, F. Ashton, W. Eagling, T. Tharp, R. van Dantzig, G. Balanchine, H. van Manen, C. Bruce, P. Lacotte, A. Messerer, J. Kylian, W. Forsythe, M. Graham, D. Dawson and many others. She created roles in Giselle, Psychic Whack, A Million Kisses to my Skin, The Grey Area, 00:00, Morning Ground, The Gentle Chapters, Das Verschwundene | The Disappeared; On the Nature of Daylight; The World According to Us ( all - D. Dawson); Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni, Voice, Derde Symfonie (K. Pastor); Frank Bridge Variations; Six Piano Pieces (H. van Manen); Solitaire (A. L. Ochoa); Meditation & Variation on La Sylphide (D. Byrd); Subliminal Instant, Spazio Tempo (J. Godani); Even The Angels Fall (Redha); Access all Areas (Redha, A. Page); La Fille mal Gardée, Endymion Variations (R. Tobias); Spiegels Bevriezend (T. Van Schayk).
Yumiko Takeshima was featured in The Grey Area In Creation/ D. Dawson (Documentary – 2004) the Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam); Kinno A-Sama, Ginno A-Sama (Documentary-2006) Japan TV; Giselle, fritten-film (Germany, 2008)