CHIHIRO Nomura dreamed of becoming a ballet teacher while growing up in Tokyo until she discovered dancing professionally on stage was a career option.
“I used to dance in front of the television, so my mum put me in a ballet school when I was five years old,” Nomura said.
“I thought I wanted to be a ballet teacher because that’s who I saw in front of me in class, but then I realised I could be on stage in a tutu and other beautiful costumes. After that I never wanted to do anything else.”
Her passion took her to the Norwegian National Ballet, where she danced for seven-and-a-half years and met fiance Gakuro Matsui.
In 2015, the Japanese couple decided it was time to challenge themselves at a new ballet company and auditioned for WA Ballet.
“As you get older, it’s harder to move to another company,” the 28-year-old dancer said.
“I went online and discovered WA Ballet was doing amazing repertoire and thought Perth looked nice. Neither Gakuro or I had ever been to Australia before our audition, so it was a big trip for us.”
It was also a big adjustment, with Nomura joining the company two months before Gakuro, having to survive the culture shock alone while in a long distance relationship.
It paid off – both were elevated to principal dancers at WA Ballet a year later and are rehearsing for the company’s season of one of the world’s longest surviving classical ballets, La Sylphide.
Nomura is dancing the untouchable winged Sylph (fairy) who tempts Scottish farmer James, performed by Matsui, on the eve of his wedding.
“We didn’t dance much together in Norway apart from The Nutcracker,” Nomura said.
“Since we joined WA Ballet we almost always get to dance together. It’s easy because we can tell each what we want and what the other should be doing.
“But at the same time, sometimes I can be too honest. I should be nicer to Gakuro because he’s too kind to me.”
La Sylphide will be performed with WA Symphony Orchestra.THE ESSENTIALS
What: La Sylphide
Where: His Majesty’s Theatre
When: May 18 to June 2