(Non)Ordinary: May Nagahisa
We’ve had a pleasure to talk with May Nagahisa, a good friend of La Notte Magazine, amazing ballet dancer and a young person involved in the nowadays’ culture, about ballet and her opinion about the contemporary side of the classical dance, the interest to k-pop and a little bit about her personal lifestyle.
Hi, May! It’s your 6th season in the theater, how do you feel?
I actually never felt that I’ve been working already for such years in the company! Time flies! Somehow I always feel fresh after coming back from the summer holidays, and I feel like I’m starting from my first season!
I feel very happy and great, that we are always keeping busy during the year in the theater. Since our “dancer’s life” is not very long, I’m so thankful for the mount of opportunities and experiences which I get in the theater every season!
Let's start with an interesting topic... how do you think, is ballet a conservative art?
Not always. I wouldn’t say that ballet is a fully conservative art. It has a contemporary side as well. As we can see, the way of dancing has changed with the years and generations. And this could call it contemporary side but the story, style and choreography hasn’t been changed, especially here in Mariinsky.
Which are your favourite roles?
I have many! I love when I can truly put my expression into the roles. I love when I feel not “May” on stage! Meaning that I’m into the role from the bottom of my heart.
Do you have dream ballets to dance?
Yes, I do. But I want to keep it to myself.
What about an out stage May... I know you like k-pop and especially Stray Kids.
Yes, very very much! I can listen to their music and watch their videos forever! They give me so much power, energy and motivations!
And the k-pop choreography, is it difficult for a classical ballet dancer? Have you tried to practice something from it?
I think it’s difficult… definitely for me! I myself sometime try to learn the choreo just for fun. With the arms is still fine, but it’s very hard to understand the way of using the legs! The body positions and the place of the body weights are completely different from ballet. But I would love to be able to dance their choreography perfectly one day!
And what I especially love with their choreography is how they put the accents and different speeds to each steps! Also that each step has a deep meaning!
Yes. It reminds me musicals. Would you like to create something between the contemporary k-pop style and academic technique?
No. Because I find it very interesting because of their own style. Something can look or may look similar. but it comes from different style and has different color on it! It’s very interesting to see these differences!
The styles are different but at the same they have a lot of common things if we’re talking about the hard trainings and rehearsals, the theatrical atmosphere…
Ballet demands almost all your time… how do you usually spend your leisure time?
I like spending time alone and having time for myself. I love cleaning my house, having a walk, bake some sweets, sew pointe shoes… and of course watch many videos of Stray Kids! *laughs*
Favourite ballets: Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Legend of Love
Favourite film: I love Ghibli movies. “The Phantom of the Opera” (musical)
Favourite songs: Of course, Straykids! I can’t choose one song!
Favourite writer: I only read Japanese books.
Favourite perfume: I always change the perfume with how I’m feeling in a day. But most of them has the sweet smell.
Favourite dish to cook: I love baking sweets! I love to make Banana walnuts bread with rice flour.
Favourite place: home!
Interview: Julia Sumzina
Photos: Julia Sumzina (you can see more photos by the link!)