A message from two of our Elmhurst School for Dance Graduate Year Students, currently dancing with the Company in Japan.

Saturday 14th May

First performance of Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty at the Kamakura performing arts centre started at 3pm today which was a strange time for most of us to start a show. Feeling tired from a hard day’s rehearsal on Friday, the excitement and little nerves got us through the show. Chi Cao and Nao Sakuma were the leading roles today, which was an inspiration beyond the imagination! Both were on top form and gave a flawless performance. The audience were quiet in comparison to audiences in the west but the reception at the curtain call was very much approving of the display of talent throughout the performance.

The first few days of weather were very wet and windy and the streets were a sea of umbrellas so many of us purchased our own and enjoyed being part of the culture joining the crowds. Having wet weather to start with it’s just our luck that then, the sun decided to put its hat on just as we spend all day performing and travelling!

Time backstage has been interesting as we’ve been having company class in a rather small studio which gets rather packed, much like our changing rooms as all the men, from students to principals share one room! It’s no hassle however as all the guys in the company are really nice and we all get along very well.

Despite what we’ve heard on the news before coming, we’ve felt very little if any tremors and day to day life seems to be very normal here. Yokohama is a great city with small cheap places to eat, lots of gaming arcades (which we enjoy very much!), and shops that have as many as 8 floors of shopping! Female heaven, Male hell! We’ve all been having a great time so far and are looking forward to our upcoming shows in Tokyo and Nagoya.

Shaun Mclaughlin and Benjamin Roomes
Graduate students Elmhurst School for Dance