3 Japanese Dancers Shine in Vaganova-PRIX
Russia is the cradle of classic ballet and the Vaganova-PRIX one of big names - a gateway to success, where Japanese dancers won prizes this year. The winners performed jointly at the Vaganova-PRIX Gala at the Mariinsky Theatre, October 29.
In the female junior division Harui Shimada, 15, of Saitama won the Grand Prix and Erina Yoshie,16, the Second place. Mark Chino, 17, came second in the male division.
Miss Shimada hails from Kawagoe, Saitama, and studied at the Classic Ballet Studio Rose in Kawagoe. Her instructor Kyoko Arahata describes her a "hard-working girl of a strong will of her own", adding:
"Harui studied ballet since her third grade in elementary school. Her reflexes are marvellous and her spinning simply brilliant."
Miss Shimada commented:
"The very thought of being able to dance on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre excited me so much that I could cry out loud. And I was just as nervous all along.
"My dream is to study up to be a soloist in Russia!"
Miss Erina Yoshie of the Saiko Hattori Ballet Class earlier won the first prize in the Junior A Division of the Educational Ballet Competition in 2013.
Mark Chino, 17, is a proud member of the Taniguchi Ballet School who has won a series of prizes including the Grand Prix at the Arabesque 2016 in Russia.
Personally, I find it utterly surprising that Japanese are doing remarkably well lately in the world of dancing, considering obvious physical disadvantages.
Apart from ballet, figure skating is another field of sport the Japanese are faring rather well, not to mention the current world champion Yuzuru Hanyu. Ballet and figure skating have long been weak points - but no longer so, it seems. (Nathan Shiga)