top of page


Kimie is a set and costume designer working across multiple disciplines

kimie nakano.jpg



Kimie Nakano holds a B.A. in English - American Literature from Musashino University in Tokyo

Kimie holds master of Ikebana ( Ohara school ) Kishu Nakano 




Kimie holds a BTS in stage costume from L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre (ENSATT) in Paris. 



Kimie holds a M.A. in Stage design from the Wimbledon College of Art.

MA graduation thesis :  intercultural theatre. 


In 2023 Kimie won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Costume Design for My Neighbour Totoro for the RSC at the Barbican 



International works as a designer includes Dream Hunter ,opera by Nicola LeFanu, director Carmen Jakobi, Tristan und Isolde for Longborough Festival Opera director Carmen Jakobi,  The Return of Ulysses  ( costume ) director John Fulljames for  Royal Opera . Turandot ( costume ) for Grand Théâtre de Genève director Daniel Kramer. Tokaido Road opera Nicola LeFanu, director Caroline Clegg .  "Pas", "pas moi" and "Va et vient" for a Beckett celebration at Théâtre National Populaire in Lyon ," Rough Girls " for Lyric Theatre Belfast director Kimberley Sykes "The Oslo Experiment" at Stratos and  "2 Graves" at the Arts Theatre , Death Note ( costume ), Your Lie In April ( costume ).




Her designs for Dance productions include for Akram Khan Company Vertical Road, DUST (English National Ballet’s Lest We Forget), Theatre Dortmund. iTMOi , Torobaka, Gnosis, Kaash, The Rashomon Effect (National Youth Dance Company) technê for Sylvie Guillem (Life in Progress),XENOS, Outwitting the Devil. 


Other set and costume design for dance include M-Dao for English National Ballet  choreographer Yabin Wang. Carmen for The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre choreographer Didy Veldman, The Little Prince for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal choreographer Didy Veldman, The Three dancers for Rambert Dance Company , Introdans, choreography Didy Veldman. 360˚for Luzerner Theater choreographer Didy Veldman. Mixes programme 2018 , The Shape of sound : Kenneth Tindall , The Kingdom of Back : Morgann Runacre- Temple, Mamela …: Mlindi Kulashe for  Northern Ballet .  Adam Zero / Die Vier Jahreszeiten for Stadttheater Bremerhaven choreography Sergei Vanaev.

8:15 choreographer Eda Megumi for Rambert Dance Company and with Megumi Nakamura Sand flower (Maastright Festival Award).

set design for The Little Mermaid choreography David Nixon OBE for Northern Ballet. 

Costume design for dance includes FALL choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Royal Ballet of Flanders. Qutbchoreographer SidiLarbiCherkaoui for Sadler's Wells and Introdans . Kaash choreography Akram Khan for Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet ,Introdans,The Moscow State Stranislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre.  Vertical Road choreography Akram Khan for Royal Denish Ballet. iTMoi choreography Akram Khan for Companihia Nacional de Bailado.Akfhukd Agrekks Arv  for Norrdans , Glansvit , choreography José Agudo, Svart Invärtes choreography Mari Carraco , Svart Invärtes choreography Peter Svenzon. The Moon Opera Choreography Yabin Wang,  Now Is for Edinburgh International Festival and Timeless, WITHIN,Inter_rupted for Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company, The Mustard Seed choreographer Miguel Altunaga for Rambert Dance Company, Premieres Plus Carlos, Mural Study for Van Huynh Dance Company and  A Thousand Shepherds , Silk Road ,TEN choreographer Jose Agudo.




Kimie trained in Art Direction at Film Design International (FDI), Pinewood Studios. She continues to explore work in various media such as film, video, animation, installation and illustration. She was designer for the short film "Basho" (2008) by Babak Gray featuring the renowned actor Yoshi Oida. Costume design for The first feature film “Macbeth” (GSP Macbeth)director Kit Monkman. 




Kimie’s presentation of traditional Japanese theatre for a new generation, "Yabu no Naka" at Cocoon Theatre in Tokyo, directed by Nomura Mansai, a Kyogen actor and artistic director at Setagaya Public Theatre, won the Tokyo Art Festival Award 1999.




"Rooms" was her first experimental project working with disabled actors which she both designed and directed at Wimbledon School of Art. She also worked as designer with the companies Show of Hands and Theatre Resource, both featuring disabled actors. Kimie’s projects with disabled performers ( blind singers in this case ) continued with “Snow” ( workshop ) which she directed, part of “ The Three Voices”   by Morton Feldman at the ENO studio .




Educational theatre includes " La nuit du Train de la voie lactée " directed by Hirata Oriza at Theatre de Sartrouville - CDN ( France and Japan Tour ), a workshop with Suffolk College students; "Sumidagawa" for The Britten Festival; Michael Morpugo’s  "Kensuke Kingdom" and "Big Magic" for Polka Children's Theatre Company and “Azar” for Ublo, a street performance company in France.

Creatcion with Akram Khan Company for National Youth Dance Company “ The Rashomon Effect “ and “ Vertical Road “.Kaash choreography Akram Khan for Institut del teatro Dansa, Barcelona. 


The set and costume design course in the workshop SYMPOSIUM by Rwanda Arts Initiative - Art Director  Dorcy Rugamba. 

Set and Costume design lectures to Design course at Wimbledon College of Art, Rose Bruford College, Central Saint Martins . 




Kwibuka20 Rwanda 2014

A 20th commemoration ceremony of the Genocide against the Tutsi

The performance depicted a brief account of Rwandan history, from the time of the colonialists through to the Genocide of 1994 and to the present. 

Costume Design for over 800 local cast




Kimie Nakano’s costume designs for “iTMOi” by the renowned Akram Khan Dance Company were chosen by Prague Quadrennial 2015, the world theatre design exhibition that is held every 4 years, and “ Vertical Road “ and ” iTMOi “V&A Make/Believe exhibition as part of the section British Design. 2011 ‘Vertical Road’ selected SBTD exhibition at V&A , 2001 ‘Yabu no Naka’ selected SBTD at Theatre Museum




‘Textiles in the performing arts: designing costumes for Akram Khan Company’

by Kimie Nakano / edited by Ruth Little, Jamini

6 December 2015

“Theatre and film work involves collaboration with an entire creative team. Performance art is neither a fine art installation nor a fashion show. The designer must think both visually and practically to bring his or her ideas to fruition. The set and costume design must be considered in conjunction with lighting, video and/or stage design.”





bottom of page