Sana Sasaki

Japanese Sana Sasaki doesn't have a specific ambition or dream at the moment, but what drives her - especially after sitting at home so much during the corona pandemic - is the desire to meet and work with many people.

"I have an enormous curiosity, a hunger even, to discover, to broaden my perspective on dance and on the world. Through this I discover more colours in myself, understand myself better. Mentally, emotionally, but also physically - dance can teach you so much about your own body."

Cat out of the tree

Because of her father's work, the young Sana is constantly moving. She has lived in Malaysia, the Fiji Islands and Australia, among other places. "I was always able to adapt quite easily, but was quite shy. I still am. Instead of jumping right in, I prefer to find out what the people are like, what the customs are, and what is expected of me.

Even her first ballet lesson, at the age of seven, feels awkward - "those strange ballet positions" - but ballet soon becomes her 'biggest joy'. At thirteen, she moved to Australia on her own to study dance at The McDonald College. "It was a lot of fun with thirty girls at the boarding school, all far away from home."

Fun has brought me where I am now.

Rotterdam? No idea!

Only later did doubts arise: does she really enjoy ballet, or is she doing what she does because others expect her to? At 16, she also realised that she could no longer ignore an ankle injury she had suffered previously. She goes back to Japan and doesn't do another dance step for a year. "It was a tough decision, but it felt like a huge relief."

She studies Liberal Arts for one semester, but in the end cannot imagine a future profession with the subjects she studies. She starts travelling, takes some dance lessons in London, where her sister lives, then discovers a great studio for modern dance lessons in Tokyo, and via some teachers ends up at Codarts Rotterdam. "I had no idea where Rotterdam was, but I had absolutely no fear. The pressure was gone, everything I did, I did out of pure pleasure."

Curriculum Vitae

1996, Yokohama, Japan

- The McDonald College for Performing Arts, Australië
- Architanz, Japan
- Codarts Rotterdam, The Netherlands

At Scapino since

Different countries, languages, cultures and schools: as a child, I always had to see where and how I fitted into a new environment.

So new

Her first performance with Scapino, in 2017, will always be a 'big moment' for her. "It was my very first professional performance. I was just a trainee and to be able to stand there knowing that Ed Wubbe, that Scapino apparently had confidence in me, felt very special." In the meantime, she has already spent several years at Scapino, but everything still feels new. "Every season is a new discovery. There are so many choreographers and teachers here, and it is so wonderful to be able to explore their world."


Comfortable with the silence

Having fun' has become her motto in life. "It has brought me where I am today. Connecting with others is also important to her, but she also needs peace and quiet, to be comfortable with the silence. Smiling: "You can see that in how I spend my free time: I like to be in good company, but I also like sewing, knitting, cooking, playing the piano, listening to music; spending time on my own."


Photography: Khalid Amakran | Interview: Astrid van Leeuwen


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