Yesterday I took my first (and maybe only?) real class here in Japan from Yurino’s former teacher. I was surprised how much the language barrier didn’t really affect my ability to understand combinations or corrections. The “sign language” we use for ballet steps and corrections seems to be pretty universal. Here is a picture of Ansa, Yurino, Yurino’s former teacher, and I:

I’m finding the floors here to be both slipperier and harder than I’m used to dancing on. The first is probably good for my turnout, but the second is really taking a tole on my lower legs and feet. I’m feeling a little numb and weak from the knee down. I’m going to need a good massage once I’m back state-side.

Rehearsals are going really well. Ansa has been a huge help in giving us corrections on our Pas de Deux. Since Flower Festival is an older work we can just learn it off of a video without someone coming to set it on us, but that also means we don’t really have anyone to teach us the finer points of the steps, so we’ve had to make a lot of decisions on our own about things like dramatic intent or the details of how to most effectively do a certain step. It’s difficult to both dance and try and correct yourself, so having an extra set of eyes is great.

After class and rehearsal yesterday we went shopping in Sakae, and let me tell you, there is nothing like shopping in Japan. It’s amazing. I’m going to need another suitcase to get everything home. I won’t give you the list of everything, but sufficed to say I could possibly clothe myself for 4 days or so just on what I’ve bought so far, and I’ve still got 4 days left. Ansa and Yurino have been a great help in finding me good deals, and helping me to translate things like “do you have this in a different size?” (I’m usually a small/medium back in the states, but I’m a medium/large here) or “can I buy this one off the mannequin?”

Pictures from Sakae:
This is the main drag. It’s really busy and in a weird way reminds me of the main shopping streets in most large metropolitan cities.
There was a ferris wheel coming out of the side of this building!

This is the Nagoya TV Tower. The shot is blurry, but it’s the best one of the tower at night that I got.
This is from inside a shopping center in Sakae. I thought the light up topiary dinosaurs were a really interesting design touch…

Today I’m going to Nagoya Castle, the TV Tower, rehearsing and teaching a class at Yurion’s studio, and then going clubbing with Ansa and her friend Ari. I’m told the club has many levels and each one is devoted to a different style of music. Should be fun!

Sayonara,
Steven

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