#5 Kanji Segawa

Kanji Segawa, a modern dancer, is a member of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater which is one of the most well-renown dance companies in the USA. Since coming to NY as a scholar via a Japanese government program in 1997 his performance has fascinated audiences from various countries. He takes his passions for dance further by educating young dancers in New York and Japan as a directing of his own dance troop, DPNY. In our interview we asked him about his work as one of a few famous Japanese dancers in the world and the key factors that led to his success.

Interview with Kanji Segawa

– You actively work as a dancer, a teacher/choreographer and a director of your own organization Dance Project New York. Could you tell us about your current work?

Segawa:

I joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (*1), one of the most renowned dance companies in the USA, in May 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater actively performs not only in NY, but also all over the USA and the around the world throughout a year. Our NY season starts in December 2011 at New York City Center, and I have recently been in rehearsal for these shows. I’m excited about these performances because they will be held here in NYC.

(*1) Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in 1958, and has become one of the renowned American modern dance companies. Founded by choreographer and dancer, Alvin Ailey, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 23 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents. On July 1st, 2011, Robert Battle was appointed as a Artistic Director by Judith Jamison, who had worked as a successor for 22 years after the death of Alvin Ailey.

– What kind of theme does this show have?

Segawa:

Each night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater features a different program of the many varied ballets by different choreographers the company has in its repertoire, which includes Alvin Ailey’s own work as the central core. This winter season includes more than 20 ballets in various programs with 30 dancers performing each night. You can enjoy different types of dances because the casts and themes change daily.

Each choreographer has their own concept and music, so I try my best to capture their unique dance style and form, which are different from one choreographer to another. Music also plays an important role in our works, and I want to learn about the music’s deep history, rhythm, and artistic beauty. I want to reflect them in my dance performance as much as possible.