Reina Takeuchi: My first week in PPY 2019


19 February 2019

Reina Takeuchi joined Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year (PPY) in 2019. The first week of the program has been filled with intensive learning, granting her a fresh perspective on her own dance practice. Reina gave us some insight into the start of the PPY year:

“I had a recurring dream during my first week in PPY. I dreamt that I had just woken up in my new room in Sydney. I would look around, examining the details of the space trying to make sense of my new reality. Upon waking up from the dream, I found it hard to distinguish between dream and reality. I feel that perhaps this dream is a kind of metaphor for how I feel about my experience this week.

I’ve been dancing for most of my life, yet somehow, this first week has allowed me to see my practice, my own body and the environment around me with fresh eyes.

We had a multitude of classes during this week, including contemporary technique, classical ballet and Cunningham technique. Yoga practice has also been heavily embedded into the course, making us aware of how integral breathing is to a holistic and sustainable movement practice. Improvisation with Omer Backley-Astrachan was also a very important part of our first week. In these sessions we gained opportunities to nurture our own ideas while witnessing the individual styles of all the other dancers. We danced so much in the first week of PPY, however more importantly, we had conversations. Conversations about being present, being available and authentic to the self as well as when to say, ‘that’s enough’.

I initially felt a lot of trepidation about undertaking this year. Being 21 years of age and recently graduated from an undergraduate degree majoring in Visual Arts and Dance, I was consciously steering myself towards explorations of dance through other mediums such as video dance, sculptures and installations. But after experiencing this first week, I am realising that dance offers more than what I initially envisaged, it offers us a voice. A place to speak through our bodies. The power of dance is being able to access and intrinsically understand any kind of physicality.

It became clear to me through my first week in PPY that people who dance are incredibly intelligent in a multitude of ways. I’m surrounded by humans who are creative thinkers, interested in physiology, philosophy, science and music. This generation of emerging artists cannot be treated simply as dancers, but as artists, with voices; artists as vessels brimming with knowledge.

I can’t wait to see more of what the program brings out in all of us. To this end, it is my fervent hope to live a life that is present, spontaneous and essentially improvised – by definition, contemporary.”

Find out more about Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year.

Applications for PPY2020 are open until 2nd September.

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