Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Yoshida returns to dance with the BRB as it tours her homeland | The Japan Times Online

Yoshida returns to dance with the BRB as it tours her homeland | The Japan Times Online.

Miyako Yoshida in “The Dream”, and like a dream for me, to interview and write about such a talented and graceful star of the ballet world.


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.

Terpsichore, the muse for Dance–cover yourself, my dear.

The mind lays out the world in blocks, and the hushed blood waits for revenge.

John Gardner, in Grendel

Love and war, equally rude, cutting in front of our line of thought, a sweet delete of the entire text of life.

Kris Kosaka, Beyond the Confusions of Tongues

SOS…. SOS….SOS….  I strive to be wise, just end up cracked!  Only another sonnet can capture the irony!!

I wait. His breathing paints the dark; I sigh

your name because I can. All that I can not

blaze with the stars, glittering like the lies

that illuminate each day. I can not

but weep. How weary, stale, and flat the night

for we with shadow dreams. Darkness rips from me

the weapons that wield power in the light:

shining duty, honor and integrity

melt to black. Can-nots swirl, I can not tame

this foolish love – if I dare to seize the day

would you dare too, towards what I dare not name?

I climb upon the stars, I feel my way

across the sky into your room. Too late!

The sun alights my shadowed heart. I wait.

Dancing on Mishimas waves | The Japan Times Online

Another alchemist, this time the famous Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima, and the French choreographer, Maurice Bejart.  I reviewed Tokyo Ballet’s upcoming production of “M” , an original ballet by Bejart, created in 1993, honoring Mishima.

I have never digested tragedy for tragedy’s sake very well in art, but the artist who transforms ugliness, tragedy, pettiness into the sublime —  they always have my admiration.  Like Mishima.

This piece also marks my first paid article in the Arts section.  Thanks for your support.

Dancing on Mishimas waves | The Japan Times Online. Postings – K Ballet Coppelia

I posted this ballet review at a UK webzine — Please enjoy. Postings – K Ballet Coppelia – Tokyo, October 2010.

Sonnet song for a ballet master –10/15 imagined.

Sonnets seethe, don’t they — beneath the controlled lines, iambic mutations and syllabic marches, sonnets roil as chaos contained in 14 lines.  Shakespeare, of course, reigns as the master, but many others delight me/depress me with the power of their feeling — Edna St. Vincent Millay’s are favorites, and whom I (pathetically) try to imitate here.

Below, my own most recent sonnet.  Forgive my ineptitude, Edna, and take only as my homage to a wondrous poetic form.  My rave for the sonnet.

Sonnet on 10/ 15

If you should ask me, one day, eyes cast down

if we might meet – I’ll let my eyes fall too

and trap the unsaid reasons that may sound

for no, to let my stumbled yes pass through.

You will pretend you can not hear my heart

skip twice, applauding thunder at your words.

Nodding, trading smiles we’ll move apart,

disguising our anticipation towards

what time, what place, what moment –overdue —

where we shall meet. Do not assume I want

your body pressed to mine; although I do,

I know how quickly bravo fades, hope taunts

then disappears in shadows, as we go

alone, onto the empty stage of souls.