COMMUNITY WEST COAST REVIEW | 9 she said. ‘I am kind of surprised because I never thought I would get such big roles’. While it has been a bit of an adjustment living in Scotland away from her family, Uyu has taken to it as a swan to water. ‘So many things here are different- culture and language especially. At fi rst when I came here, the language was the most challenging thing. I studied English when I was at school, but it’s different when you talk with people,’ Uyu admitted. ‘My favourite thing is the nature. Where I lived in Yokohama it was quite busy. I miss the busy city as well, but I like the quiet and the nature, it’s really nice.’ Uyu’s life as a ballet student is rigorous, consisting of at least fi ve or six hours of training each d a y , ending at 9 p m some days. ‘Sometimes you don’t get a chance to eat lunch because you are so busy. When I get free time I normally just relax and do nothing or I read a book.’ She was recently awarded the Royal Academy of Dance’s (RAD) Solo Seal Award, and has been selected to go through to the classical ballet fi nals of the BBC Young Dancer competition. Uyu is having a ball in her latest role as ‘The Black Swan’, one of the most notorious antagonists in ballet. ‘I like dancing it, but I also like acting. It’s such an evil character and I’ve never danced such a character. It’s so different from me, I’m a chill person, so it’s really diffi cult, but at the same time it’s really fun. You can be a different character on the stage.’ Working with Natasha Watson, an awardwinning Ballet West alumna, has been a highlight of Uyu’s experience. ‘Natasha and I take classes together. She’s such a professional and so beau- tiful, it inspires me every day. S w a n Lake was Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s fi rst score for ballet, and while its 1877 premiere was poorly received, it has since become one of the most loved of all ballets. ‘The music is part of what makes it so beloved,’ Uyu said. ‘Tchaikovsky’s music is really beautiful, it’s got a beautiful story line and it’s simple as well.’ Swan Lake is touring Scotland through February and will dance into Corran Halls on February 9 at 7.30pm. For tickets call 01631 567333. For more tour dates, visit.balletwest. co.uk. Photos by Ryan Davies of Monocolour Photography Ltd.
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