一流のダンサーになるには、教養を積むことが必要です牧 阿佐美 バレエ研修所長
To become a first-class dancer, one needs to be culturedMAKI Asami Director of NNT Ballet School
- 【Beginnings of the Ballet School】
- I wanted to set up a ballet school when the theatre opened, but we had too much on our hands at that time. I requested it later, when I became Artistic Director, and was very happy when the Ballet School finally opened in 2001. I think a training school is necessary in order for a theatre to maintain consistent method and style. At first we had auditions once every two years, but after a while we started having a new student intake every year. I think the way the students develop is different now, because they can see and follow the example of their seniors.
- 【Invitation to the International Ballet Academy Festival in Washington DC】
- In the very first year this festival was held, the New National Theatre Ballet School was chosen to join a group of high-level ballet schools including the Royal Ballet School, the Paris Opera Ballet School and the Royal Danish Ballet School. We were very grateful that Japanese ballet was held in such high esteem. It was amazing to be invited to the very first festival.
- 【Invitation to the International Ballet School Festival in the Kremlin, Moscow】
- We were also invited to the Kremlin for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s 240th Anniversary. At the press conference, Vaganova of the Mariinsky Ballet was saying “We are 280 years old”, while the Paris Opera Ballet said 300 years old, but our company in Japan is only 20. Still, the Japanese performances were well received. The nuance of the dance piece precisely matched the music, “Triptyque” composed by AKUTAGAWA Yasushi, which was full of uniquely Japanese sentiment. Teachers from various other ballet schools said the Japanese dancers had good ports de bras. The performance was praised very highly, and was even given a big coverage in a French magazine.
- 【Future Outlook for the School】
Being serious by nature, Japanese people are very good at listening, but when it comes to expressing what they feel, they are too worried about how others will react. On the other hand, ballet is international, and it’s important to express our own dreams and thoughts, joyfully and without reserve. So I think it’s important to create an environment in which the students can become familiar with doing so. After four years, starting with two years in the preparatory programme and then two years at the School, they get used to expressing their own thoughts. Only two years at the School, I feel they graduate without completely mastering it. Therefore, I think it would be a good idea to increase the main course to three years and also to increase the number of what we call ‘salons’.
To become a first-class dancer requires not only technique in ballet but one also needs to be cultured. For this purpose, I think the students’ self-expression will change if they come into contact with first-class artists, or persons working at the top of their profession. When talking to first-class dancers from abroad, they can often articulate their knowledge of art, have good manners, and able to converse with other professionals.
Until now, we have been devoting all our attention to laying the foundation. And although there’s nothing wrong with that, from now on, I think our students will need to mix with first-class professionals and be inspired by what they say. Because young people are often ingenuous and impressionable, it’s important that we invite various people and create an environment in which young students at the School can be inspired. If they can get used to holding a conversation with people from different profession, they will not find such things so troublesome when they grow older. I encourage them to meet painters and musicians at this ‘salon’.