この劇場のため、ダンサーとスタッフ、皆がひとつに牧 阿佐美 元舞踊芸術監督 (1999 ~ 2010)
Everyone came together as one for the sake of this theatreMAKI Asami Former Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance (1999 ~ 2010)
- 【Memories of being appointed Artistic Director】
- It was a time when everyone, dancers and staff alike, came together as one for the sake of this theatre. We all worked hard to make the company what it is today.
- 【The goal】
- The dancers did their best to become a premier ballet company, and we, the staff, supported them in achieving that goal. The relationship between everyone in the company were very good.
- 【Initiative to expand the range of repertoire】
- In my time, we staged ballet productions from eight different countries, so I think our performers were able to expand quite a wide range of repertoire. We performed “Cinderella” and “Romeo and Juliet” originally from the Royal Ballet (UK), among others, as well as works by Balanchine (US).
- 【The importance of Walking as a means of expression】
- In ballet, we should feel from the soles of our feet and express what we feel through the heart. But for many, the story goes in through the head and disappears around the navel. We must learn how to express with our whole body. Walking in ballet doesn’t just mean crossing over to the other side of the floor; we walk by planting each step with feeling. I think this is very important in order to become a great dancer.
- 【Most memorable event】
- Memorable event was when we took “Raymonda” to Washington. I was worried whether American audience would take to Japanese dancers performing ballet, since they have an impression of ballet being Russian or French. More than anything, I wondered how they would take in “Raymonda” which was rarely performed in Washington. I was also anxious to find out how they would feel about Japanese dancers performing a work by Balanchine, an American choreographer. But not only did the audience turn up in numbers, they were also very generous with their applause and the tour turned out to be a great success. They appreciated that fact that Japanese dancers had performed a full length classical ballet, and full of praises for “dancing such a difficult ballet to an excellent standard”.
- 【Ballet as a comprehensive art form】
- I believe Ballet is an integrated art. Ballet isn’t just about good dancing. It is a combination of excellent music, stage design, performance, and choreography, coming together to form a comprehensive art form. Creating ballet to this level would be very difficult for the private companies, so I sincerely hope that the National Ballet of Japan could serve as a model. I think we should have this in mind every time we approach new work. Ballet dancers must always do the basic exercise until they die. Physical training is essential if they want to keep performing on stage. Once a dancer stops training, they will go back to being an ordinary people. Musicians perform with their instruments, but ballet dancers perform with their body as the “instrument”. For that reason, I think this is the most difficult art form of all.
- 【What it takes to be a top class dancer】
- I think it’s important to meet people who has achieved top class in their profession and to absorb things we may lack. Technique is necessary, of course, but that wouldn’t be enough on its own. To bring yourself to the next level, it’s important for dancers to improve themselves as a person, and I think we need to create an environment for that to be possible. I hope to provide this environment at the Ballet School.