Ballet is a special world that gives endless pleasure - Mayumi Sakamoto | Eurasia Diary -

3 March, Wednesday

Ballet is a special world that gives endless pleasure - Mayumi Sakamoto

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Eurasia Diary presents an interview with famous ballerina Mayumi Sakamato.

- Mayumi, please tell us about yourself, how did you choose this profession and do you regret it? 

- I was one of the first ballet students in my city Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. In the first audition of 300 attended, they chose 30 and among them I was one of the happy chosen. From the first day of Ballet in my life, I fell in love with this beautiful art and it became everything to me. I trained daily, including holidays. After a while I decided to apply for a scholarship in Russia to be able to realize my dreams of being a professional dancer. My dream came true and I don't regret it, the decision was the right one. 

- How is a day of ballerina held? How many hours on day do you spend for training and do you have day off when you are not physically active at all?

-The day of the ballerina begins with the ballet class, training, and continues with the rehearsals, this happens every day. Besides, I sometimes train well in the gym. At night we have the performances, which are quite a lot; sometimes we have double performances on holidays, that is, a show in the morning and another at night. We practically live more in the theater than in our homes. The Theater for us is our second home. We have a day off in the week on Monday. Usually this day I give ballet classes to kids, in order to transmit my knowledge. I also teach adults, Ladies who love Ballet. So you can see that my life is completely dedicated to the art of Ballet 

- How are your rehearsals going? Did you have ever time to go to training, when you faced the trauma and pain?

-The rehearsals usually come after classes, we rehearse the ballets of the current repertoire, and the rehearsals are very strong, we try to make everything perfect, the teachers are very strict and professional, but we are prepared for it, it is already something normal in our lives. Yes, sometimes trauma happens due to hard and constant training, but it is our life, our profession that we love, it is part of us. 

-  How do you train? Are there any requirements for appearance?

-I am very strict with myself, I like to be perfect, I think it is due to my Japanese descendants since my father is Japanese, he is a great master of martial arts and he has always infused us with being perfect in everything we do. I try to stay in good physical shape since it is essential in a dancer; our art is beauty and youth.

- Do you train on the day of the performance? Now let's talk about diet. Is it true that ballerinas eat very little? Is it true that a ballerina's weight should not be more than 50 kg?

- Of course!!! It is part of our preparation before the performance so that our body is prepared and so we can enjoy our dance more. About food, everything depends on your physical consistency, each metabolism is different, there are people who can eat a lot and do not get fat, and others do not. Personally, if I train a lot and I am very active, I can eat whatever I want, because my metabolism responds very well. In short, I have always led a very healthy lifestyle, without any excess that could harm my health. The weight of the dancer also depends on your height, as you will understand, but yes, we must be thin. 

- Tell me, please, what would you say to yourself when you just started the ballet?

-I always told myself that I wanted to become a professional dancer and perform the great classical ballets, which I did, regardless of the sacrifices.  

 - Where do you get strength when you run out of energy but still have to train?

- The love of my profession! is my adrenaline, I feel like in heaven! As the Russians say “on stage I feel like a fish in water”. 

- Where do you get inspiration for your roles?

-I have always been interested in the history of each ballet that I perform, since I love classical Ballet immensely, especially those of the Romantic era, it is as if it transported me to the past, and I live those moments intensely on stage.  

- What is the atmosphere in the world of ballet? An environment of mutual understanding and support or envy and competition?

- It is a very difficult question, in the world of ballet there is everything, we must be strong because there is a lot of concurrence, my slogan is to always be ready to perform any role, if you are ready you will always have opportunities, they will come to you for your effort. In spite of everything you will find good people who support you. 

- What is the attitude to pregnancy in ballet? And how did you manage to stay in such great shape?

- My attitude is positive, being a mother is the most beautiful thing in the world, we cannot lose that great opportunity that our nature and God have given us. It is not easy to regain physical form, but it is possible. 

- Are you going to do show in Baku, where there are so many fans of you, if so, when? What are your wishes for your fans in Baku?

- It is with great regret to inform you that I am no longer an active dancer, since I am ending my career, now I am devoting myself to teaching.

Now I work with the famous Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato at the Mikhailovsky Theater.

I would like to wish everyone to find the peace of mind and physical health that we need lately. And also fill your hearts with art, no matter what. Art in all its dimensions is part of our spirit, and without it we cannot live, since we are people, part of nature.

Interviewed by Jamila Chebotareva


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