Who's Who of Professional Women


Takako Asakawa Richards is a talented dancer, director and choreographer who has amassed more than five decades of experience in the realm of arts and entertainment. A native of Tokyo, Japan, she delved into the world of dance as a young child, having been placed into dance school by her parents to curb her boundless energy. Falling in love with the art, she traveled to New York City to pursue her passion on a full-time basis after touring with the Japanese musical “Holyday.” After receiving a scholarship, Ms. Asakawa served as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company beginning in 1966, dancing in such productions as “Dancing Ground,” “The Plain of Player” and “Myth of a Voyage.”

Since commencing her career as an exceptional artist, Ms. Asakawa has performed as a dancer for Alvin Ailey, Pearl Lang and Lar Lubovitch, among others. In addition, she has been a guest educator at several schools and universities across the globe, including the Moscow Cultural Exchange Program, the Martha Graham School and the prestigious Juilliard School. Throughout her fruitful career, she has also served as a director at a number of theaters, such as the Paris Opera Ballet Company, the American Ballet Theater and the Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam. Serving on the board of directors of the Joyce Theater, Ms. Asakawa contributed her time and expertise as a panelist at the New York State Council on the Arts in the late 2000s.

Throughout her career, Ms. Asakawa has performed all major roles in the Martha Graham repertoire both nationally and internationally, including at the Paris Opera House and Covent Garden. In addition, she has been showcased on Broadway and in television productions, having previously played Eliza in “The King and I” and featured on “The Bell Telephone Hour.” Attributing her profound success to her dedication to dance, Ms. Asakawa is a former member of the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Among her notable achievements, Ms. Asakawa is renowned for founding her own dance company with her former husband, the prominent David Hatch-Walker, called Asakawalker. Debuting their 12-member group at Japan House in the late 1970s, Ms. Asakawa and her former husband have been the subject of much acclaim by the likes of such publications as The New York Times. Takako Asakawa Richards has been happily married to Paul Richards since 1990. She and her husband spend their time working on their foundation helping others.

In light of Ms. Asakawa’s exceptional accomplishments in the arts and entertainment, she was named a Legendary Woman of America by St. Vincent’s Hospital. Likewise,  she has been highlighted in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Entertainment, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who of American Women.

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