Interview with Prize Winner 2019 Sumina Sasaki
Sumina Sasaki, a young Japanese ballerina, won the scholarship provided by Emile Chouriet after the 47th Prix de Lausanne, in February 2019. Following her success, the young lady had the chance to join the prestigious Royal Ballet, in London.
Émile Chouriet is proud to welcome Sumina in its manufacture to help her discover the world of watchmaking and know her feelings since the Prix de Lausanne.
Émile Chouriet (EC): Dear Sumina, you participated to the Prix de Lausanne (PdL), how was your week in Lausanne with the teachers? How was the relationship with the candidates despite the pressure of the competition?
Sumina: It was an amazing week! Participate to the PdL was a dream since I started ballet. PdL is not like other competition, I find that it is more supportive with a warm atmosphere. I could learn and enjoy a lot during the week. And it was great to work with dancers from all over the world who has the same aim as I do!! And it was an honour to be taught by teachers, who work with ballet companies as a professional dancer.
Sumina Sasaki & Jean Depery ©GregoryBatardon
EC: What was your reaction when you won our prize? Have you been surprised or confident to win?
Sumina: I was very grateful when I received the best swiss candidate prize. And then, they started to announce the winners. While waiting for my name to be called, my heart was almost exploded. I didn’t expect to win a prize, so I was very surprised and full of gratitude to the teachers, friends and family who supported me. And when I received a watch from Émile Chouriet after the award ceremony, I realized that I really won the prize. It was a very touching moment.
EC: In our last conversation, you explained that your sister and mother was also professional dancers. What were their reactions when you won the PdL?
Sumina: Actually, I grew up in a dance environment. Indeed, my two grandmothers have their own ballet school and parents are dancers. My older sister and brother are working as ballet dancers. They were very happy about my prize and congratulate me. I was glad that my mother was part of the audience during the contest. She was able to admire my progress after my studies at the Dance Academy Zurich.
EC: You come from Japan and you left your family very young to integrate the Tanz Akademie in Zürich. Is it not too hard to live far away from your family to live your passion when you’re 19 years old only?
Sumina: It was challenging and I missed my family and friends in Japan so much. But as time passes by I’ve got awesome and unique friends in Zürich. Moreover, there was a lot of support from Dance Academy Zurich and step by step I started to feel very comfortable. I can’t thank them enough for their support. I had an amazing four years in Zürich. For me, it is not too hard. It’s great to be able to do what I really want to do as my job, and I’m really grateful that my dream has come true.
EC: Could you please tell us why you choose The Royal Ballet of London to continue your career?
Sumina: I chose The Royal Ballet Company because it was the company of my dream. But it was a too big dream and I never thought it would actually come true. I really like The Royal Ballet repertoire and I am glad to be part of it.
EC: How is your daily life in London? Could you give us an example of your typical day?
Sumina: It depends on the day, but usually class starts from 10.30am to 11.45am. After that, there is a lunch break and rehearsals. During the break and rehearsals, we have the possibility to book a gym, physiotherapy, pilates, etc… The objective is to strength, treat and relax our body.
EC: You wear now an Émile Chouriet watch, what do you think about our brand?
Sumina: The watch is very beautiful and elegant. It’s my special and precious watch, so I wear it on special occasions and when I want to have confidence. I love this watch very much.