A circle of friends connected by Goo Touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features a relay of people who live and enjoy Tokyo, and on April 11, emotional dancer Tsuki Takamura was introduced by Fumino Sugiyama, co-chairman of the NPO Tokyo Rainbow Pride. He has appeared in and choreographed music videos for various artists such as King Gnu and Ohashi Trio, and is also active as an actor, among others. We asked him about his encounter with dance, how he came to be an emotional dancer, and the relationship between acting and dance.
Becoming an emotional dancer who expresses the whole living environment
Celeina (MC): Let me start with a profile. Mr. Takamura is an emotional dancer born in 1997 in Hyogo Prefecture. He has performed and choreographed music videos for various artists such as King Gnu and Ohashi Trio, appeared on stage with MISIA and LiSA at the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen, will participate in Yonezu Genshi’s “HYPE” tour live in 2020. In 2021, you are in charge of choreography for “TOKYO2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL “Wassai”” organized by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. And now, he is also working as an actor.
Takamura: That’s right.
Takano (MC): Your career is illustrious, but yesterday, Mr. Sugiyama said that it is hard to sum it up in one word.
Takamura: Thank you very much.
Celeina: First of all, I would like to ask you when and why did you start dancing?
Takamura: When I was in kindergarten, I saw a university student dancing to the song “Squa” at a summer festival held at my local elementary school. The dance was not a street dance, but a gymnastic dance that everyone in the neighborhood could dance to. When I tried to imitate that dance, I experienced such an uplifting feeling that I can still remember it today, and I thought, “Dancing is so much fun!” That’s when I realized how much fun it was to dance.
I have wanted to dance ever since then, but I couldn’t find a place to do it. My hometown is in Hyogo Prefecture, and it was about two years later. I saw a flyer in my mailbox saying that a dance school had started at a community center. That’s when I started dancing.
Celeina: That’s amazing. You first went to the community center to learn how to dance.
Takamura: I was in the third grade of elementary school. I attended a community center and was exposed to hip-hop dancing for the first time. I was clumsy and didn’t progress very well, but a friend I was learning with at the community center introduced me to a dance studio in Osaka, and I started going there and taking lessons with adults. From there, I learned about various dance events and dance contests, and participated in dance contests throughout junior high and high school.
Takano: I see.
Celeina: Do you remember how you became a dancer for work?
Takamura: It started when I moved to Tokyo. Before I moved to Tokyo, I kept participating in contests, and after that, I worked as an instructor for a long time after I turned 20. This is related to the origin of the name “emotional dancer,” but there is a person named “Oi-chan” whom I met in Tokyo.
Takamura: Oi-chan is a person who changed my life. One day, he suddenly contacted me via direct message on Instagram. It was an invitation to do a music video, and it was the first time I worked with him in Tokyo. I thought, “What is this world?” I had been living in the world of dance, which had been divided into genres to some extent, such as contests and classes. When I was asked to dance freely for a music video, I was surprised and felt a sense of freedom. It was the first time I was asked to dance impromptu, and I was extremely nervous, but at the same time, I felt that I was allowed to do so. I felt like, “I want to do this!” That’s when I moved to Tokyo.
Celeina: So, rather than dance as a competition, it became more like dance as an art form.
Takamura: Yes, that’s right. Self-expression. I was very happy to have encountered a world where I could dance without any form or framework, where I could just say, “I’m alive right now”.
Takano: When I saw the music video of King Gnu’s “Sanmon Shousetsu”, I thought that the title of “emotional dancer” was exactly what I was looking for, and it seemed to me that they expressed sadness and pain with just their backs. How did you make this one?
Takamura: Emotional dance is also a form of my own dance that has come through various genres, so I don’t have a specific pattern, but what I value is that I can’t ignore things in my normal life, such as cowering because I have a stomachache, opening a window because it’s hot, or wanting a drink of water because I’m thirsty. I want to incorporate all the emotions that cannot be ignored in the course of a normal life, and the movements of daily life that would be played off if seen as normal dance. So, while dancing, I am conscious of valuing the environment in which I am currently living and expressing all of it.
Celeina: It’s because your dances are closely connected to your life and lifestyle, or rather, the daily needs that everyone feels, not just human needs, but feelings that everyone can relate to, that they draw you in.
Takano: After listening to what you said, Mr. Takamura, if you watch the music video one more time, it might be something different. Now, here is one song. I asked Mr. Takamura to choose a song he would like everyone to listen to together at this time.
Takamura: Yes. It’s a song I also appeared in the music video, “Sanmon Shousetsu” by King Gnu.
Interaction between acting and dancing
Takano: I had a chance to talk with Mr. Takamura while the song was playing, and I was struck by the fact that you can’t tell a lie.
Takamura: That’s right. I can’t lie about my emotions when it comes to dance, so all the things that bother me in my daily life, such as anger or depression, come out in my dance.
Takano: It really sticks in my mind. Mr. Takamura, I heard that you are not only a dancer but also an actor these days.
Takamura: That’s right. I have always enjoyed watching stage performances, and from the age of about 18, I was inspired not only by watching dancers perform, but also by the movements of actors in plays, so I created my own dances. I had always wanted to try my hand at acting someday, so I was very happy when I got my first opportunity. Besides what I did physically, I was impressed by the weight and subtlety of the words and how differently they were conveyed depending on whether the end of a word was raised or lowered. Even a slight raise of the eyebrows can change the expression. It was a great experience that made me reevaluate my own expression, which was still very detailed and rough. I think my dance expression has changed in many ways since I was exposed to the play.
Takano: There seems to be an interaction between the two, isn’t there?
Takamura: Yes, there is. There are parts that are similar to dancing, and there are parts that are completely different. It was fun and I learned a lot from doing it.
Takano: I look forward to seeing you as an actor in the future.
Celeina: Now, “FIST BUMP” is a circle of friends connected by “Goo Touch,” and we are asking you to introduce us to your friends.
Takamura: I would like to introduce a pole dancer named KUMI. How we became friends is about 8 years ago. We first met on the stage of ASTERISK “Goodbye, Snow White” directed by MIKEY of Tokyo Gegegay, and we performed together for the first time. Since then, we have had a lot of connections, and I have performed with him, received various advices from him, and he has been a good friend to me in general.
Takano: If you had to describe him in one word, what kind of person would it be?
Takamura: A “wonderful goddess”. I am sure you will understand what I mean when you meet her.
Takano: I am looking forward to it. Tomorrow, I will connect you to a pole dancer, Ms. Kumi, who is a wonderful goddess.
Celeina: Today’s guest is emotional dancer Tsuki Takamura. Thank you very much.
Takamura: Thank you very much.
J-WAVE （81.3FM） Mon-Thu 16:00 – 18:50
Navigator: Shinya Takano, Celeina Ann