420PEOPLE - Rei Watanabe

Rei Watanabe


Rei was born in Gumma in Japan. She studied classic and contemporary dance at Hirumi Iishi and Reiko Yamamoto to later become a member of their company, the first professional engagement in her career. In 1993 she decided to move to Europe where she is based ever since. Since her arrival to Europe she has danced at several prestigious world leading contemporary dance companies, among them Nederlands Dans Theater 1&2 under the tuition of Jiří Kylián, Le Ballet de l´Opéra de Lyon, the ballet ensemble of the Götenborg Opera or Cullberg Ballet in Sweden. As such she had the opportunity to work with many renowned choreographers, for instance J. Kylián, O. Naharin,
W. Forsythe., H. van Manen, J. Inger, J. Godani, P. Lightfoot and other. She has performed at famous stages around the world, such as The Paris Opera, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow or Sadler`s Wells in London. In Sweden she was awarded for her exceptional performance of Juliet in the ballet Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Martino Můller.
In 2006 she became a free-lance dancer and pedagogue. Since then she has performed, among other, at Cadance festival in The Hague and Holland Dance Festival. Besides, she became
a hosting dancer of the Japanese group Noism (art director Jo Kanamori) during their first tour around the USA. As a pedagogue she is active mostly in Japan where she focuses on work with young emerging talents. In 2006 she co-operated with the Japanese designer Y. Hishinuma on a project called One Week in White.
Rei has been co-working with 420PEOPLE since the beginning of 2008, her first performance within this co-operation being in the piece Neen-Ya presented at the Prague theatre Archa. Spring 2009 saw her and Václav Kuneš create a choreography On an Even Keel: it was likewise premiered at Archa theatre in December of the same year. At present, she is a permanent member of the company, her roles worth mentioning, among other, are those in Naharin´s B/olero (in which she dances together with Nataša Novotná) and Kuneš´ Small Hour.