Posts Tagged ‘artistic dilemma’

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online

Every artist must find that elusive balance, satisfying the audience without sacrificing oneself.  Not that I can call myself an artist (yet) but slinging emails and trading wordplay with editors has taught me a little of what an artist must face.  Witness my latest effort in Japan Times, published today — here is my original lede (opening) with my concluding paragraph of the entire article immediately following it:

Yumiko Takeshima’s childhood memories are swathed in silk. Dying fabrics in the kitchen sink with her father or fingering ornate, gold-shot material in Kyoto with her mother, Takeshima, as the fourth generation of a kimono making family, found the threads of her creativity within her own heritage. But her heart spun with dance. Today her life weaves together both strands of her artistry, as a professional dancer, and founder of a popular line of hand-made, custom designed dancewear. YUMIKO boasts a global online store and boutiques in New York City and Tokyo. Her career onstage continues to thrive, as a Principal for Semperoper Ballet in Germany.

Takeshima remains too busy to think much about the boost, although she admits, “I feel very lucky to have such support from dancers themselves.” Last week she wrapped up performances of “La Bayadere” on stage; her newest design, “The Alicia” premiered recently in the boutiques, a v-neck leotard with inspiration from the kimono itself; she started a new coloring scheme, ‘dip-dyes’ following her father’s work with gradients at the kitchen sink, and she just finished designing wings for another production with Dawson, this summer’s “timelapse/(Mnemosyne)” in Holland. Her future spins on one certainty: Takeshima’s life will remain a whirl of interlocking threads, design, and creativity – like her heritage itself.

Nice, interlocking symmetry, I thought, a rather clever way to link together fashion and dance–  but immediately NIXED by my editor, as ‘too creative for the Arts page’.

Now, I trust and like this editor, and I realize there is a definite style to each section of the newspaper, and the responsibility of the editor is to keep faithful to that style. (blahblahblah!)  I have only written two other pieces for the Arts Page, so I need to be a nodding, earnest student and listen solemnly and  learn.  BUT, but, but ,but……

Please now read the entire article, with my editor’s changes.  She moved up all my factual bits and pieces, adding in the creative parts later.

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online.
I am still proud of the piece, and I still want it to bear my name.  But, and the main but, really, is simply this:

Somehow, in some essential way, anyone could have written this piece now.  It is not mine any more.  (Perhaps that’s the point  — the article is about Yumiko Takeshima, after all, not Kris Kosaka. )

Now that I have indulgently, selfishly taken the entire post for mememememeME – please remember Yumiko san and her fabulous talent and her leotards and costumes. If you dance or do yoga or fitness — order one!  They are truly gorgeous on the skin.

She was a most gracious interviewee, even after just finishing  a run of performances with a travel-induced cold.  Thank you, Yumiko san.  Thank  you, artists everywhere, for putting up the fight but still satisfying your customers. Us, the audience.

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online.