Marina Kanno
Marina Kanno. Photo Credit: Marek Wòjciak
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I live in Berlin. I come from Japan. I have been a professional ballerina since I was 18 years old.

How did you get introduced to ballet?

I saw a rehearsal of a small private ballet school by accident while I was waiting for my brother to finish his summer course when I was 3. I automatically fell in love and thought this is it! I begged my parents for whole year to start finally start with ballet class when I was four.

When did ballet get “serious”?

When I was 12 my parents asked me if I would like to study for exam for high level private school or to go for ballet. Of course, I chose ballet because in my head, that was my only choice.

Can you share your biggest challenges ?

I guess my biggest challenge was when I entered Vaganova ballet academy at the age of 16, not knowing any Russian, being alone and having left everything behind.

How do you handle pressure?

I work on it. What I learn is important is not to hide, to be honest to yourself and to the others.

Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?

It's normal to be nervous. Even when I have practiced more then enough, I get nervous. I try to control myself to be calm and it really gets better with the time and experience. You get to know yourself better so you better understand which ways work best for you in order to control it.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to ballet of course ;)

Once we had a New Year’s show of Swan Lake, during small swans I messed up my head, then I saw my colleagues face. This happened only once in my 12 years small swan dancing carrier.

How did ballet influence your life in other ways?

Healthy body or always trained body :) I have no need for fitness and I can eat a lot! As a dancer I think you get mature or independent faster than other the same aged people. Dancer career is short and everything (like life politics) you experience and understand earlier. I think, I meet a lot of inspiring artists who make me grow too.
Bad things are that you have not much private life. I have to always make sure that I am in shape and not too tired.

Marina Kanno

Photo Credit: Paul Sovari

Marina Kanno

Photo Credit: Dean Barucija
What does your daily routine look like ?

I wake up before 8, have breakfast, I try to join the floor barre exercise class at 9. At 10, we start class. Drom 11:30-14 is rehearsals 14-15 lunch break. Mostly I go to physio to get treatment. Later I have banana and small things and coffee. I don't like to eat a lot before rehearsal. From 15-18 is another rehearsal time.
After that sometimes I go to have dinner with a friend, or go grocery shopping and cook at home. If I have performance we finish with classes at 13:30 and show starts at 19:30.

And what about your flexibility training ? Where does that fit in ?

For me gym/fitness is not working well and personally I don’t like it. I do yoga and gyrotonic. I think those are very good for flexibility.

What keeps you motivated?

To motivate myself all the time is really hard, important to have some goals for yourself or helps a lot to meet people from another company, other dance fields and always try new things. Of course when I meet a great teacher, a great choreographer, agreat ballet to dance is the best motivation for me.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

I don’t have everything planned out, but first I want to study languages to become translator, I speak English/German/Russian/Japanese and maybe something to do with my jewelry designing as I’m doing it as a hobby and I love flowers! So maybe flower art designer?!

Marina Kanno

Photo Credit: Alice Wiliamson

Marina Kanno

Photo Credit: Alice Wiliamson
Any tips for passionate people starting out ballet ?

First to choose a  good school because having a good base is very important. If you wish to become a professional ballerina, you have to have a lot of patience, discipline and nerves too.
I mostly wish that in Japan there were professional ballet schools and world level teachers. For me, it was very difficult to know which school is good and afterwards to change my habits and to know which way to go.

Anything else?

I think in everything you do, you have to have a bit of crazy fantasies, dreams and great imagination.

Anything you’d like to share?

I have my jewellery pages on Facebook and instgram. or instagram @ciga_jewellery