Here at New York Art Life, we find many incredible artists that will change your perspective on the world, and inspire you to follow your dreams. Because they prove that dreams can turn into reality in a major way. Although it would be ideal to share the stories of every magical artist, we select a handful that has been breaking barriers and bringing the impossible to the stage and beyond. We are delightful to introduce a new artist today in the field of ballet, a dancer based in New York City. Today we will be speaking to Risa Takeshima.
NY Art Life: Thank you for joining us, we are so excited to speak to you!
Risa Takeshima: Thank you, the pleasure is mine.
NY Art Life: We are so lucky to have an artist like yourself in New York City, creating magic every day through your practice and with every performance. I believe you will soon be a Senior Artist at The Ajkun Ballet Theatre. How did that experience change your perspective on your art form. How you go about cultivating the life of ballet through your work?
Risa Takeshima: It is truly wonderful, and every day is a gift because of how much magic I see happen during rehearsals, and working with other gifted dancers enriches the experience and, I definitely see things differently, and I’m excited about how things will be at Ajkun Ballet Theatre. I truly believe that everything is attainable through practice. That is how I paved my way and found my place in the dancing world. I think that influencing the culture of dance and becoming part of the performance is also dependent on style and bringing some of who you are into your work. While that is quite difficult to demonstrate when I’m dancing and performing a role in a classical production, it is important to pay attention to how every dancer is different and their movement is unique to themselves.
NY Art Life: That is true, very nicely put. You have an impressive list of performances. All of these titles are a dream to watch, let alone perform. You have most recently performed the role of Cupid in Don Quixote, at The Ajkun Ballet Theatre during the summer. Is that your favorite so far?
Risa Takeshima: I’m very happy to have been part of that production. Every moment was beautiful, and I still think about it regularly. While I cannot pick favorites in my performances, I must say that the emotional impact is truly unmatched. Every performance touches us in their own way. I’m truly grateful I can bring my perspective to these roles and present my style on stage.
NY Art Life: That is lovely. You were also in Swan Lake, performing the role of Cygnets. This is a timeless classic that everyone loves. You have accomplished so much in bringing your unique style and adored movement to these roles. You were also in Giselle and your role was very interesting. Both of these productions were also at Tokyo City Ballet where you danced for a while.
Risa Takeshima: That is correct, those roles are very special to me. I remember feeling the music making me feel truly in the moment when I was performing on stage. I wouldn’t change those moments for anything. However, I would go back to that moment in a heartbeat. There’s something so special about expressing myself through movement, and it’s even more special that the audience is right there with me, witnessing every bit of expression. Tokyo City Ballet is really a special studio and their productions brought those classicals to life in an unimaginable way. The costumes were intricate and full of detail. It is truly magical when the whole crew production is passionate about what they’re doing.
NY Art Life: That is very inspiring, thank you for giving us insight into the details. It is almost unbelievable how you’ve been part of how many timeless productions such as The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker as well, and you continue to break barriers and be innovative with your movement. You are a great resource for inspiration and for dancers to look up to as an example of reaching your goals and becoming one of the best in your time.
Risa Takeshima: Thank you, that is truly kind of you. I’ve always had great peers in dancing and people I learned from, as well as taught to in the process of discovering myself through dance. I love how dance connects people, both through performance and through creation.
NY Art Life: Now that you will be a senior artist at The Ajkun Ballet Theatre here in New York City, you will be bringing magic to the stage. It will be very exciting to follow your journey and get inspired by you. Do you have any advice for dancers following their dream?
Risa Takeshima: I will tell them to continue being excited about your craft. Magic is made when you are full of passion and there is a lot of light in your movement, which is visible to those who are your audience. Always follow your heart in bringing your style to the stage because there is no right or wrong in dance!
NY Art Life: So we say goodbye with a joyful thank you for having granted us this interview. It’s time to say Happy New Year to everyone.
Risa Takeshima: Truly a Happy New Year to all. Especially to New York which I always carry in my heart.