Tetsuya Kumakawa, a former principal with The Royal Ballet and the founder and artistic director of K-Ballet in Tokyo, could make an audience gasp with his wildly powerful and inventive allegro. A boyish, dare-devil dancer, Kumakawa was a natural fit for roles like Franz in Coppélia. Watching him in this clip of Franz's Act I variation, it seems Kumakawa must have some sort of gravity-defying DNA.


The cheeky Kumakawa starts the variation bounding with impossible height in his jumps and sneaking out sustained rotations in his pirouettes. His creativity comes into play as he propels himself along the diagonal in helicopter leaps, adding an extra tour to his tour jetés and hovering with suspended ballon. He crowns the variation with a final saut de basque that bursts into a split leap in midair! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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