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Review February 2017.indd

COMMUNITY Ballet West’s production of Swan Lake comes to the Corran Halls this month, and dancing a principal role is one of the school’s up-and-coming stars, Japanese ballerina Uyu Hiromoto. One of the most famous works in the ballet repertory, Swan Lake’s irresistible combination of drama and tragedy is set against the dramatic battle between good and evil. It follows the plight of Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with Odette, a beautiful princess cursed by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. Unless the 8 | FEBRUARY 2017 curse is broken by a royal marriage vow, Odette is doomed to forever spend her days as the Swan Queen. The sorcerer and his daughter Odile work together to destroy their romance. Uyu dances the part of the evil Odile for this production, set against Natasha Watson’s Odette. Uyu has gone from being a student at a local ballet school in her native Yokohama to performing starring roles across Scotland after being spotted by Ballet’s West principal and artistic director Gillian Barton at an international competition. Uyu fi rst put on a tutu and tights at the age of four. ‘At fi rst I was just going to ballet lessons because my friends were, and I was really enjoying dancing with my friends,’ Uyu shared. ‘When I was 14 or 15 I began to feel like I wanted to keep doing this. My teachers said “You’ve got something, but it’s up to you. If you are ready to make the effort, you can become great at it.”’ The willowy 19-year-old did make the effort, and by 2015 she was competing in the Genée International Ballet Competition in London, where Ms. Barton discovered her. Last year she landed her fi rst major UK role as Snowfl ake, and, at some venues, as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Ballet West’s production of The Nutcracker. ‘I danced the Sugar Plum Fairy in Japan, but it wasn’t as big a production as Ballet West’s. I really liked dancing Snowfl ake because it was such a hard piece. You need to be really smart to dance it – you have to be in line, you have to think about timing while you’re dancing. It was so nice, and after I danced it I felt like I had achieved something,’


Review February 2017.indd
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