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Japanese dance group offers concert to disaster victims

twsRenowned choreographer and dancer, Yuko Takahashi, along with ten others from her dance company offered their performance last Aug. 15-16 at the Claire McGill Luce Auditorium to the 20,000 people who died during the Japan earthquake and tsunami last March 11, 2011.

Yuko Takahashi, who has been into dance for 35 years, said that this performance is dedicated to not only the Japanese victims, but also to the Filipinos who encountered several natural disasters last year.

“Through our performance, we wanted to relay the message of healing and hope. Even in a short time, we wanted the people to forget the pain that etched in their hearts and in their memories,” Takahashi said.

Takahashi founded the Yuko Takahashi Dance Company in 2006. Takahashi said that she founded a dance company because she wanted to use modern-contemporary ballet to relay a message, be an inspiration, and be a messenger of God.

“I want to be a messenger of God. I want to inspire dancers to speak out their hearts through dance,” Takahashi said.

A lot of people judged her choreography and dance interpretations at first, but Takahashi didn’t stop her dream and she continued to hone her God-given talent.

Takahashi won various competitions in Japan. Takahashi and her dance company also collaborated with the Saeko Ichinobe Dance Company and have performed with them for three to four times.

“ I w a n t e d t h e m t o appreciate modern-contemporary ballet. And it’s a good thing that the people started to love the kind of dance that I created,” Takahashi said.

When asked if the Yuko Takahashi Dance Company has experienced committing mistakes during performances, Takahashi answered: “A lot. We have a lot of mistakes during our performances.”

Takahashi said that as a dancer, in order to cope with some dance errors, they must know “improvisation.”

Takahashi also shared that every time she performs on stage, she feels that she is in another dimension.

“It is an interesting world. I see fairies, gods, and ancestors talking to me, telling me to do my best,” Takahashi said.

As a message to all the inspiring dancers, Takahashi said that one doesn’t need to have a flexible body as long as that person has a heart to perform, to share his/her talent, and has a pure heart.

“Never give up. Have big dreams and embrace everything,” Takahashi said.

Yuko Takahashi Dance Company, based in Sendai City, Japan did a workshop on dance from Aug. 9-14 at the Luce Auditorium Ballet Studio. Over 20 local dance enthusiasts joined the workshop and learned from the dance company’s unique take on modern dance.

Every performance they make tells a story which gains appreciation from all the viewers. And their improvisation of moves gives a twist to the traditional and modern dance steps. That prompted the astonishment of the audience as Japanese dance company performed the first phase, “In God’s will.”

A part of the show is the presentation made by a chosen group of Filipino dancers who were part of the workshop by the no other than, Ms. Yuko Takahashi. But applauses blasted in the entire auditorium and the crowd went wild when the Yuko Takahashi Dance Company made one of their most significant performances—dancing to the melody of “Bayan Ko”. Meanwhile, the most inspiring and unforgettable performance of the Yuko Takahashi Dance Company was the piece they offered for those students who died during the 2011 devastating tsunami in Japan.

“We believe that dance can help unlock the dreams of children while building trust with their peers and love for art, culture and movement… We guide our students towards willingness to be tender, to feel gratitude, and to maintain a soft and loving heart in spite of the tragedies they have survived,” Yuko Takahashi, founder of the dance company said.

The performance of Yuko Takahashi Dance Company brought by the company gave a mixture of emotions to everyone in the crowd. And there’s no doubt that their outstanding dance moves paved way for their success in the international limelight.

By Nova Veraley V. Grafe

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