Takako Segawa is a contemporary dancer, choreographer, movement coach, dance-theatre performer, and teacher of Japanese Arts. Born in Japan, Takako trained in both traditional arts and contemporary Japanese movement styles, before graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School. Her 20-year career includes performances throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She was nominated outstanding female for the Dora Award in 2015, and has been honoured by two All Japan Kobe Dance Festival awards, and by the Stuttgart SoloTanz festival. Takako has worked with Tedd Robinson, CORPUS, Maxine Heppner, Michael Caldwell, JAMII, and many others. She has gratefully received numerous grants to create and perform her works, including from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Ottawa Arts Funding, and the Kochi (Japan) Ministry of Performing Arts. She established her company ‘Fluid Elements’ in 2015, and currently lives in Ottawa, on the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. Takako is currently working on “Echoes: Vibrations from Japan to Canada” and “Sho ga nai—It cannot be helped.”
I first started dance and gymnastics at age six in Japan. The summer I was 16, I visited New York City to take dance courses for several months. That experience changed my life. It made me want to become a professional dancer and return to the West one day. Contemporary dance drew me the most -- its freedom, its individualism, its room for creativity.
In my dance, I am constantly searching for authentic movements which come from true experience, without hiding. Moving from my core and balancing my body structure allows me to find that “magical” place where my body floats in space with effortless movement. It feels as if my skin is expanded in space, just floating.
When the feeling in my body is correct, the audience feels it too. This creates a deep connection with the watcher, allowing us to meet for one timeless moment. The audience somehow feels what I am dancing for, and why I am dancing. When this happens, it’s a silent knowing, without words. The audience leaves somehow changed. This is what I aim for.
Although I have lived in the West for decades, my Japanese heritage and sensibility expresses itself subtly, blending and reinventing itself in my contemporary dance -- even when I don‘t intend it. My goal is for this juxtaposition to result in a new dance vocabulary.