Originally posted at: http://www.sanspo.com/geino/news/090822/gnj0908220506013-n1.htm
Human: Aran Kei, Because She Loves the Stage
Photo Caption: Aran Kei has this slender physique, but inside she's "manly"?! = Sumida-ku, TokyoHaving graduated in April as the top star of Star Troupe in the Takarazuka Revue, Aran Kei (38) is making her debut as an actress with the lead in the grand musical “The Musical Aida” (beginning on the 29th at Tokyo International Forum). She will be having a new start, with this previously assigned role. With her extraordinary singing voice and skillful acting, she enchants all. However, unexpectedly, she wavered some in deciding her post-retirement course. Standing on new earth, she drew near to “Now”.
4 months since her graduation from her 19 years in Takarazuka. She's completely used to skirts. But her powerful look hasn't changed. Even in the rehearsal studio, she shines like a flare of light.
She did her first show based on the “Aida” opera with Takarazuka in 2003. It is a love triangle involving the Egyptian general Radames, the Ethiopian princess Aida, and the pharaoh's daughter Amneris, in addition to depicting the futility of war. This time, the main character in the show is Aida, and the focus is on her love.
"It was a role that I loved, so I'm thrilled that this chance has come. Aida is someone who in the end throws away everything for the sake of the one she loves, and goes down into that dungeon... Without second-thought. I really admire her."
Her three-octave singing voice is in fine form. Regarding singing with male performers for the first time in this show, she said, “When the song is brought together, men's voices have great depth and strength. The reverberation is completely different and novel.”
She's moved her life from Takarazuka to Tokyo. "I'm riding a Mamachari," and she's also been freed of a top star's pressure, and feels at ease. Having joined the major entertainment company "Horipro", she's off to a great start. But, the truth is that at first she felt uncertain. This is before she left the troupe.
“Because I didn't really feel a desire to enter the world of show business. By which I mean, I was thinking that I didn't want to have to compete with other people, and that I didn't want to be interfered with by others, and things like that.”
Then, there was the “Aida” offer.
“I realized I really wanted to do it. It seems I won't part from the stage. Though there are other things I want to do, I realized there is something about the tension and exhilaration of standing on stage that I want to continue tasting. Because I love it, after all. Because I realized that, I didn't have any doubts.”
Unlike her Takarazuka years, if she's going to become an actress, she'll have love scenes with male actors. In this musical, a kiss scene appears “I'm prepared. Eh, later on? A bed scene or something? That I'm not prepared for,” and she became very shy.
---- Well then, marriage prospects...
“Right now I think I'll focus on my work and building a strong foundation there. But in future, if the right person comes along, I want to get married.”
---- What's your type?
"It's changed recently. It used to be really superficial, but now it's more a man who exudes strength and has gentleness and a beautiful smile. I like tough-guys more than pretty-boys.* Why did it change? I guess because I grew up. (laughs)"
Her conversation is unembellished, yet rich with wit. Her analysis of herself is, 'I'm incredibly man-like. I'm not dependent, and I survive by my strength. I can take a blow.”
Since those middle school years where she followed her dream of becoming a performer, she's been granted half a lifetime. When asked about her new dream, she says, “My nearest dream is to do the things I really want to, to seek out my own path.”
This “handsome woman's” advance is not yet over.
*(Soushokukei yori nikushokukei ga suki, Japanese slang, literally "I like carnivores more than herbivores.")
Note: The original Japanese text used on this site is the property of the Takarazuka Revue and Hankyu Corporation. It is used without permission, with the intent of publicizing the revue to a larger audience.
The translations on this site were done by me. I reserve all applicable copyright on them and DO NOT give permission for them to be redistributed, published, retranslated, used as fansub scripts, etc.