Spin, sway, twirl, pirouette, leap, sparkle – Yuko Harada does it all!

Live the life you love and love the life you live. Meet Yuko Harada, an enthusiastic and extraordinarily talented dancer from Japan who is working with The Chrysalis Project in the Contemporary Arts Week 2014 in Delhi.

Yuko Harada

Photo by | Sarah Jane Hardt

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Q. How has your journey been as a dancer?
A. 
I started dancing when I was eight years old. I wanted to be a ballerina as a kid. I started taking dancing seriously at the age of fifteen .At the age of eighteen, I decided to leave Japan and go to London to study dance at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance for three years. Thereafter, I got to work as a professional in Germany in a major dance company for six years. I then worked with a contemporary dance company in Israel called Kibbutz for six years.Finally, I ended up getting a two year contract with Danceworx, where I currently work as a teacher and an adviser.

Q. Where are your inspiration vaults?
A. 
There are so many people who inspire me. When I was a young ballerina, all the world famous ballerinas inspired me. Anybody who works with me inspires me. Even now as a teacher, my students inspire me. My body moves before my brain works. So perhaps my body got inspired first, and then my brain decided that I love dancing!

Q. What is The Chrysalis Project in the Contemporary Arts Week all about?
A. 
It is a platform to support and nurture young upcoming choreographers in India .We have chosen four choreographers in which three are from Delhi and one is from south, close to Mumbai. We plan to mentor them and make a team. We will support them to perform.

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Q. What were your basic challenges as a dancer?
A. 
There were no major challenges as such. I was only challenging myself constantly while dancing. Of course, dealing with cultural differences in new countries was hard. But then, challenges are a part of life. Some have a small share and some have a bigger share of challenges.

Q. What is your major dance form?
A. 
My major dance form is contemporary and modern. But I am a trained classical ballet dancer.

Q. What is the most amazing thing you’ve found in India?
A. I absolutely adore Indian dance forms. I also love Indian food. It is spicy, but that’s the beauty about it. It’s an art in itself!

Q. What made you want to be a part of the Contemporary Arts Week?
A. 
The Director, Shohini, has a very strong passion for encouraging dance in India. Also, through the Contemporary Arts Week we wish to break the limited boundaries. For example, beauticians always stick to beauticians, dancers always stick with dancers and musicians always stick with musicians. But CAW encourages corroboration with other artists apart from dancers. That’s what appealed to me most.

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Q. Do you have any other interests other than dancing?
A. I love relating to people, meeting different people all over the globe. I travel a lot. I am also a big foodie.

Q. So where do you see yourself five years from now?
A. 
I wish to continue striving in dance, and to make the Contemporary Arts Week bigger and better. I dream big. I have lot of artist friends all over the world. So, we’ve planned to eventually come together and make a dance company in Delhi. I’d like to be involved in the dance business not only as a dancer, but also as an organizer of shows and performances.

Q. Were your parents always supportive of you dancing?
A. 
No. There was a time when they were not. The government in Japan did not support dancers, just like in India. That was also the reason why I wanted to leave Japan. It’s not like that in Europe. In London, they are paid to dance in the dance company. Now, in Japan too we have forty one national dance companies. But here, dancers do not get paid for dancing. Instead, they get paid for teaching.

Q. Any advice you want to give to our blog readers?
A. 
Keep it up. If things don’t work out initially, just stay put. New windows will open, and all will be fine in the end.

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Interview by | Aditi Agarwal

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