Encounter with a musical
Hiroichi Tategata (actor, dancer, choreographer)
I like musicals.
When I thought about when I first became interested in it, I remembered seeing a stage musical when I was a child. I don't remember what it was about, but I think it must have been a lot of fun because I think I was playing "musical play" with my friends afterwards. Later, when I was in high school, I even performed in a ``musical mock-up'' at a school festival.
I started doing it in earnest when I entered university and joined the Musical Research Group. A senior I met there told me, ``You should try dancing,'' and I knocked on the door of Nagura Jazz Dance Studio. Perhaps my height was a blessing in disguise, but I started getting dance jobs while I was in college, and I feel like I spent the latter half of my college life fully occupied with dancing.
I believe that musicals have a certain kind of "magic" to them. It may be said often, but even if you think it would be a bit unnatural in a straight play, by expressing it through singing or dancing, you can easily fly to another dimension. . I think you can be forgiven for omitting detailed explanations, and there is a sense of freedom and fun in being able to travel to a different world with the music.
Musical singing and dancing have a mysterious "power" that straight plays don't have. Show dance also includes singing and dancing, but I feel it's a little different from that. I like straightforward plays, but I also find a world where singing and dancing coexist wonderfully appealing.
The first real musicals I saw when I was young were Shiki Theater Company's ``A Chorus Line'' and ``Cats.''
At the time, it was unheard of to import an authentic Broadway stage, build a dedicated theater, and perform a production over a period of several years.
I had just started dancing seriously, so I had no idea that I would become a professional dancer, but the long-running performance of the Shiki Theater Company changed that for the better. . At a time when it was still difficult to make a living through dancing alone, the long-run system that allowed dancers to continue performing on stage for a long period of time with a single work was a revolutionary system that had never existed in Japan before. So, on the day of the Shiki audition, all the talented senior dancers went to the audition, so much so that the studio was completely empty. However, at that time I was still just starting out, so I was an outsider (lol).
One performance that left an impression on me as an ensemble was ``Guys and Dolls'' (1993, Nissay Theater). It is known as the Takarazuka Revue lineup, but the one I performed in was produced by Toho, starring Toshihiko Tahara. I appeared on the show because Nagura-sensei was in charge of the choreography, and the ensemble around me was made up of fellow dancers. Tahara-san took everyone out to dinner and held a party at his home, so it was all a lot of fun.
However, since I was one of the members of the ensemble, I had no lines and was not given a microphone. The more I stood on stage, the more I wanted to have lines and sing a song.
Looking back, I think how lucky I am to be able to play such a prestigious role and sing my own songs.