Nagahisa in La Bayadère. Photo by Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre.

25 to Watch 2018: May Nagahisa

Not many students get the opportunity to perform a variation onstage with the Mariinsky Ballet. But in April 2016, when May Nagahisa was just 15 and training at Monaco's Princess Grace Academy, the Japanese prodigy was invited to perform the Manu dance in La Bayadère with the venerable Russian company—an unprecedented honor for a non-Vaganova student.


Mariinsky director Yuri Fateyev was impressed, and just after her graduation in Monaco last June, the 17-year-old dancer started her career as a trainee in St. Petersburg. During the Mariinsky's summer tour to London, Nagahisa was assigned variations in Paquita's grand pas and La Bayadère. Her outstanding technique and épaulement made an impression, with The Telegraph praising her "ethereally light upper body." Nagahisa may well be the Mariinsky's next standout foreign soloist: Her serene classical articulation is already at home in St. Petersburg.


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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