Note: Haruto Maeda’s final show as Billy in the Japanese production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was in Osaka on November 4, 2017.
Debut: July 19, 2017 (Tokyo, Japan)
Total Performances as Billy: 28 (No partial shows)
Haruto Maeda was 12 years old (D.O.B. = 16-Nov-2004) when he debuted as Billy Elliot in Tokyo. He now lives in Tokyo, but Haruto spent much of his childhood living in New York, as he moved to the USA when he was four years old. Haruto lives with his mum and sister, while his dad has stayed living overseas. His favourite foods are steak and strawberries, and his favourite subjects at school are Maths and English.
Haruto has been a hip-hop dancer since he was five years old, with much of his training taking place at TMH Dance, LLC in New Jersey. In 2015, when he was just nine years old, he battled through many rounds to win first place at the Stars of Tomorrow dance competition. Here is his winning performance:
Credit: Video by Apollo Theater
When he heard about the auditions for BETM, Haruto had never done any ballet before and thought that it was mostly for girls. However, he watched the Billy Elliot DVD and thought that he and Billy had some similarities, so decided to give the audition a go. He didn’t have any ballet shoes for the first audition, and recalls being the only one there that was trying to do ballet in trainers! The casting panel must have spotted potential in Haruto, as he was put through to the next round.
Haruto has spent the past year working on his ballet, and has learned many things he couldn’t do before. He says that he always feels a sense of accomplishment when he has learned to do a new move.
Haruto has worked very hard to get to play Billy. Even when he had to study for a school entrance exam back at home, he would be standing in the turnout position so that he could be practicing his ballet at the same time. When it was finally announced that he would be one of the original Japanese Billys, Haruto said that he couldn’t believe what he had heard.
Haruto appeared on TV in Japan with one of the Michaels – Ibuki Mochida – and together they performed Express Yourself. Here is their performance:
Credit: Video by ホリプロオンラインチケット
The scenes that Haruto enjoys most in BETM are Dad’s strike scene, and the flying in Dream Ballet.
Haruto makes his debut as Billy Elliot on 19-Jul-2017, and in doing so becomes the 201st actor worldwide to play the role.
For more information about Haruto visit: