We are delighted to welcome Urara Takata to the Scottish Ballet family as she joins the company as an Artist.
Born in Osaka, Japan, Urara trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional Portugal, Seiko Kuramoto Ballet School Japan and Etoile Ballet School Japan. After graduating from the RCS BA Modern Ballet programme in July this year, Urara joined Scottish Ballet – and, excitingly, this month will mark her professional stage debut in the UK premiere of Starstruck.
We chatted to Urara about how she’s enjoying Scottish Ballet, what she has gained from training in Scotland and how she feels about going on tour for the first time.
Five minutes with... Urara Takata
How does it feel to join Scottish Ballet?
I was working towards a goal of being part of Scottish Ballet when I was a student – I am so happy to have become a member of this dream company and to be rehearsing with amazing dancers!
Can you describe the first few weeks in the company?
I have been taking classes and rehearsing with senior members, and the directors have given me sincere advice. Everything I have experienced so far in the company is very exciting and satisfying for me. I am surprised by how fast these few weeks have passed! I also feel very comfortable in the company because all the dancers and staff are very friendly; it was easy to get used to this new environment for me.
You will perform in Starstruck – how are you enjoying rehearsals?
It’s a jazzy style of performance that is totally new for me, so it is very fun to dance and I am always excited in every rehearsal. Moreover, the mixture of its profound story, music and choreography strongly fascinates me. I am glad to engage in this valuable ballet work.
What made you decide to study at RCS?
I wanted to learn ballet at RCS because I was so impressed by its great environment and dedicated teachers when I took part in a summer course three years ago. Another deciding factor was the wonderful performances of Scottish Ballet, which got me absorbed in the company – I had a strong desire to join them when I first watched their performance. Then I was attracted to RCS, which produces such great dancers, and that helped me decide that I wanted to learn in the conservatoire.
How important is the professional partnership with Scottish Ballet – what opportunities did it offer?
This partnership gives lots of meaningful opportunities to students. For example, graduate year students can gain valuable experiences such as performing ‘Hansel and Gretel’ with Scottish Ballet. What’s more, dancers of the company often visit classes at RCS to give lectures. I appreciate that they gave me those great opportunities. Even though there were some events that we couldn't carry on as usual due to COVID-19 over the last couple of years, I was still able to learn so much at RCS.
How did RCS prepare you for the profession?
RCS supported us to make our job hunting go smoothly, from helping us work on our CVs to advising on how to take a video for auditions. The teachers also took the time to give thoughtful advice if we had questions and shared information about auditions of ballet companies all over the world. They even gave us the opportunity to have a simulated audition, which was very helpful for us.
What were your highlights during your studies?
We had many opportunities to perform, such as in Piano and Dance, Solos Evening and Graduation Performance. I have an especially deep attachment to Graduation Performance. We rehearsed again and again to achieve a high quality of performance as students aiming for a professional ballet career. The bonds between classmates were strengthened, and the sense of accomplishment that I felt when we did the best performance was greater than I could have imagined.
What are you looking forward to most over the coming months?
I am looking forward to performing on tours around England. I have never experienced touring for performances so I can't wait to show our performances to many audiences in various places! More than anything, I am glad to perform as a member of Scottish Ballet. I will keep putting all my effort into practice to show the best performance every time.
Not got your Starstruck ticket yet? Click here to see Urara perform in our dazzling return to stage.