Shiori Kase – First Soloist, English National Ballet

Shiori Kase.<br />© ENB. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase.
© ENB. (Click image for larger version)

www.ballet.org.uk
Coppelia at the London Coliseum: Production details and booking
Shiori Kase is dancing on the 23rd & the matinee on the 27th
 

5 Questions to Shiori Kase

ENB soloist Shiori Kase is on a roll – only yesterday promoted to First Soloist (well as of 1st September), she’s just won a Gold Medal at the prestigious Jackson International Ballet Competition in the USA (Johan Kobborg, to name but one, was an earlier Jackson winner) and is about to make her debut in Coppelia, and on the first night of the ENB Summer season too. A good time to catch up with her, we thought…

How’s it going in the studio with Coppelia? Are you a Swanilda in real life?

It’s been great – I’ve got a great team of people helping me prepare especially Ronald (Hynd – choreographer) who has been giving me great direction and is very sweet to me. Acting wise, Tamara is really great, she gives me lots of advice and it’s great that she wants me to improve. It’s also been wonderful working with Yonah (Acosta) – we have worked together for a long time and have done lots of different roles together so I’m really comfortable with him which is important, especially for opening night!

Swanilda is sassy and flirty – I’m not sure that’s me!
 

Shiori Kase and Yonah Acosta rehearsing <I>Coppelia</I>.<br />© Laurent Liotardo, courtesy ENB. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase and Yonah Acosta rehearsing Coppelia.
© Laurent Liotardo, courtesy ENB. (Click image for larger version)

When taking on a new role do you do lots of research or do you prefer to go with your instinctive flow?

Both – I have been researching who Swanilda is and how she has been portrayed before by watching lots of different versions. I take from these versions but don’t copy as I want to think about who I want my Swanilda to be. I know that on stage will be different to rehearsals though and I will react to the atmosphere and the audience and the costumes.
 

Shiori Kase and Nathan Young in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase and Nathan Young in The Nutcracker.
© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Coppelia debut is 23rd July – do you have any first night rituals?  Get nervous?

This is my first first night in a principal role! I have done the Nutcracker lead before later in a run but it’s much shorter – for Coppelia I’ll be on for 3 acts in a main role so that will be a challenge! Before I go on stage I’ll try not to think about that too much and stay focussed so my mind doesn’t wander and I get scared!
 

Shiori Kase at Jackson Competition - here dancing <I>Moon Cry</I> by Antonio Castilla.<br />© Richard Finkelstein and courtesy USAIBC. See the <a href="http://www.usaibc.com/2014-photo-gallery/">USAIBC Photo Gallery pages for more</a>. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase at Jackson Competition – here dancing Moon Cry by Antonio Castilla.
© Richard Finkelstein and courtesy USAIBC. See the USAIBC Photo Gallery pages for more. (Click image for larger version)

What was the Jackson competition experience like? How much preparation did you have to put in and what did you dance?

The Jackson Competition was an amazing experience. I got to see so many people from all over the world and do class with them and watch and be inspired. I started rehearsing a month before the competition. The first week in Jackson we only had class and rehearsal each day which was a good chance to get used to the weather – very hot and humid and recover from the jet lag. Then later on we had stage calls one by one – it was great that they did that as it meant we could get used to the space. I danced the Act 3 solo from Don Quixote and Black Swan from Swan Lake in the first round then in the second round we all had to do a set contemporary solo called Robust American Love. The third round I did Sugar Plum Fairy from Nutcracker, Medora from Corsaire and Moon Cry, a contemporary solo choreographed by Antonio Castilla (Ballet Master and Repetiteur at English National Ballet).
 

Shiori Kase at Jackson Competition - here dancing Sugar Plum Fairy from <I>Nutcracker</I>.<br />© Richard Finkelstein and courtesy USAIBC. See the <a href="http://www.usaibc.com/2014-photo-gallery/">USAIBC Photo Gallery pages for more</a>. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase at Jackson Competition – here dancing Sugar Plum Fairy from Nutcracker.
© Richard Finkelstein and courtesy USAIBC. See the USAIBC Photo Gallery pages for more. (Click image for larger version)

What’s your greatest dance wish?

I would like to dance Manon in the future. The reason I came to England is because I watched Darcey Bussell perform in Manon when the Royal Ballet came to Japan – since then I have always wanted to dance that role as I felt so inspired – it is such a beautiful ballet.
 

From 2007: Shiori Kase and Vadim Muntagirov, when the Royal Ballet School staged a performance in the Covent Garden Piazza (2nd June 2007).<br />© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

From 2007: Shiori Kase and Vadim Muntagirov, when the Royal Ballet School staged a performance in the Covent Garden Piazza (2nd June 2007).
© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

 

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