Kaneko: Promotion to principal inspires gratitude

Japanese dancer Kaneko Fumi says she can hardly express her feelings in words after being promoted to the top rank of Britain's Royal Ballet.

The prestigious ballet company announced Kaneko's promotion to principal dancer on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Osaka native joined the company in the 2010-11 season and has been a first soloist, the second-highest position, since 2018.

Speaking to NHK on Thursday, Kaneko said she had dreamed of becoming a dancer recognized by the world since she was in elementary school.

She became emotional and burst into tears when she was told about the promotion by the director around October last year.

Kaneko underwent surgery twice to treat a ruptured knee ligament. She made a comeback each time after rehabilitation.

She said although it wasn't an easy path, she feels there was nothing wasted and everything that happened to her has made her what she is now.

She said while she was unable to perform due to the coronavirus pandemic, she practiced in the kitchen of her home.

She said she would like to dance while keeping in mind a sense of gratitude to the people who have supported her. She said she aims to become a dancer who is as expressive as an actress.

Kaneko is scheduled to perform in Japan this summer.