Overflowing Memories … Sayonara Talk

Hayama Kiyomi (Choreographer)
Shibuki Jun (Tsukigumi)

Rika: This time I knew I had to have this last talk with Hayama-Sensei, who raised “Shibuki Jun,” so I requested to interview her!

Hayama: Rather than say “raised,” I’d say you thrived on your own *laugh*.

R: *laugh*

H: But the years really have passed quickly.

R: That’s true. I first met Hayama-Sensei in my honka-sei (2nd) year at the Music School. In my time, only honka-sei could take classes with her, so we went to the first class with hearts pounding. Sensei called on me, and then said, “Wrong! Like this!” angrily *laugh*. That was our first meeting.

H: Back then Rika was all arms and legs… though now they’re even longer.

R: *laugh* Before I joined Takarazuka all I knew was ballet, and so for some time I had no idea what an otokoyaku was about… But from the time when I became a ken-2, sensei began to mold me into an “otokoyaku.”

H: From the beginning, Rika was able to dance with feeling. When was that? When you danced behind Oura Mizuki…

R: That was when I played a demolition man in “The Game” in my ken-3 year. Nine ken-1, 2, 3 only members danced behind Oura-san. Dreadful… *laugh*

H: That number was quite a risk on my part. If we made a mistake it seemed as if they would say “I’m sorry” and withdraw it or make us stop… *laugh*

R: Even during practice it felt like the older members were eying us; like we were sitting on a bed of nails *laugh*. There was an amazing amount of responsibility and pressure but I really was so happy to be allowed to dance, and I felt as if I was getting a sense of being a professional on stage. I think that number was where I originated.

H: Because you and the others worked so hard at it, lots of voices were raised to have more of those kinds of numbers. Everyone who was in that dance went on to shine brightly.

R: Kouju Tatsuki, Takumi Hibiki, Shizuki Asato, me… Four from that group went on to lead troupes. Though before that role no one knew who I was *laugh*.

H: But, ever since your hatsubutai you really stood out. The company got a call from a newspaper reporter who saw your rockette dance, asking “who was that member such-and-such in from the right?” Our answer was “A Rockette Beauty,” and we had to do that once before for Mao (Daichi Mao), but you became another stand-out.

R: Eh!? *laugh* I wondered back then why I was one of the members interviewed, but… “Rockette Beauty”! *explosive laugh*

H: But then after that *laugh*.

R: I didn’t study *laugh*. I thought, “I entered Takarazuka to dance, why do I have to act,” and although I wanted to dance all of my grades were bad, so I wasn’t allowed to *laugh*.

H: Even in the shinjin koen you walked around with your stomach sticking out, and it was ridiculous *laugh*.

R: That was “Aru Hi Bara Ichi-rin,” wasn’t it? I played the second-ranked heroine’s lover, but when I was walking I couldn’t speak my lines… That opened up my eyes (“I have to try harder!”) and I asked you for dance rehearsal time. It was during the day off from rehearsal, so I was thinking “I don’t want to go,” but I went to try and in the end I thought “I’m glad I went” … It made me upset, and at the Hankyuu train station I was crying “Waaa~h” *laugh*.

H: You often cried noisily when you were hurt, but that time you certainly took a step forward. For a dancer to have a lead in a play you have to be able to dance when in positions where you can’t breathe, and that’s difficult. But you continued on not just in dance, but in acting as well, step by step, and worked very hard. A “she’d go that far!?” kind of thing.

R: *Explosive laughter*

H: Even as you worked so hard there were still moments when you got hurt. Even though I said, “Don’t lift your leg so high!” BANG! Up it would go, and you’d slip and wail… But you’d go so far that you’d live your role until your transformations were amazing *laugh*.

R: I enjoy transforming myself *laugh*. My first solo dance was one you choreographed, and there was an accident that made me miss the performance, which is a real shame. Sensei was there for me during all my turning points. That’s why I think the entity “Shibuki Jun” couldn’t exist without you. It might be impudent, but it feels like the time I met you as a honka-sei was just recently.

H: The Rika who up until now always fluttered around me has become more and more magnificent… Time really does fly. Even though I often wondered about that Rika “Does this one have what it takes…?” *laugh*

R: *Explosive laughter*

H: Sorry for bring up the experience *laugh*. But in an instant you became capable. A true transformation *laugh*.

R: It may look like I’ve gotten more capable, but really I’m putting a lot of effort into it *laugh*. This is in boldface! *laugh*

H: You work hard when no one can see *laugh*. Well, you showed me the Plus Alpha that I choreographed. It’s slightly different from the original creation, but you were able to make a cover using your own sense, so I think I’ll forgive you! After the pile of otokoyaku up till now, Rika is the one who has led me to think of breaking through and taking chances with the aesthetics. In “Jazz Mania,” she takes off her tux coat, rolls up her sleeves, loosens her tie… That’s the kind of dance I did for her…

R: I only danced that at the last run in Tokyo, but happily I’ll also be dancing it in my Sayonara Show. For me, dancing on a stage bigger than anything in coattails was a dream, and I’ll never forget my joy when it came true.

H: Whenever I was searching for someone who would try something like that – it was always Rika.

R: Occasionally if she tells me “dance this small section properly” I’ll be at a loss, but in spite of that she has continued making new choreography for many years. Isn’t this an amazing thing…? Are you constantly aware of polishing the emotions?

H: More than polishing the emotions – Number one is the idea, after that is the sweat and effort, I suppose.

R: Sweat… Stylish.

H: Even the people we call geniuses are the same. Without any study they can read music and play the piano… but after that it’s all effort. So even for me it’s all effort among the hundreds of students, even the ones who seem on their way to stardom, that’s due to effort.

R: I hate the word “effort,” but in the end I think it really was effort.

H: But you hate to show when it takes you effort, right? Because you’re shy and such a show-off *laugh*.

R: *laugh* You’re probably right. I hate acknowledging my own nervousness on stage. I hate to be defeated.

H: If that wasn’t so, you wouldn’t have this job. You also hate to lose first place to another.

R: That’s true. So all those times I cried and calmed down and struggled up… I repeated again and again. At that time sensei stayed quiet and watched over me, and scolded me… You raised me not only to dance, but also to be the person I am today. You really are a master who I can call “sensei” from the heart. Sensei says: “You don’t remember being born, but I’d venture a reply on this page in a loud voice: “I was raised by sensei!” *laugh*

H: No, that’s quite the praise… *laugh*

R: Will you make your choreography more painful? It’s already the end for me, so that’s fine *laugh*.

H: *laugh* You say the finale dance for “Bara no Fuuin” is a dance saying thanks for the production and you really danced it with that kind of feeling. Though it took you quite a while to learn the moves *laugh*.

R: I’m sorry *laugh*.

H: Just a joke *laugh*. The audience has also been saying “we understand Rika’s heart.”

R: “Thanks for my bed, thanks for the Grand Staircase, thanks for the audience”… when I was doing the choreography, that meaning came clearly to me. I tried to convey that to the other members of my troupe as well, and everyone burst into tears *laugh*. So I wanted to make the audience feel that as well.

H: That’s serious, that kind of performance.

R: I felt like “I did it!”

H: Really? The choreography was for simplicity. But there are so many memories in there, it makes sense that it’s heavy.

R: Now there are many outside choreographers coming here, but when you think of “Takarazuka otokoyaku” it’s always Hayama-Sensei who raised them. You’re the teacher who makes girls able to perform as good otokoyaku, the teacher most related and best able to grasp “Takarazuka-like,” and how to show off beauty the best. Please let me call you “sensei” after I graduate *laugh*.

H: *laugh* In the “Bara no Fuuin” program, Ikeda-Sensei’s words written to Rika were: “Thank you. I’m glad to have met you!” I too really feel the same way. So until the end let’s both of us do our best with spirit, be careful of injuries, and have no regrets.

R: Yes. Thank you very much!