Last week, Juli from our communications team spoke with two performers from last year’s 99 women, Natalia Yakovleva and Fuyu Ouyang. They discussed what it was like to rehearse and perform last year, as well as their excitement and expecatations for April’s show.
Juli: Did you have experience performing before joining 99 women?
Natalia: I am a dancer, since the age of six. But I hadn’t done it for a long time. So I was very happy to be on stage again and recapture this feeling that I lost for maybe five years. It was a unique opportunity, as I never had an experience of performing abroad, especially performing in English as an actress.
Fuyu: I am not a professional actress, so I didn’t feel too much pressure to live up to expectation. More than that though, I was more concerned with what the Director wanted. But she is actually quite friendly and very nice.
Juli: What was the process like, rehearsing and performing in 99 women?
Natalia: The dance was in the contemporary style, which I love. I especially liked the choreographer. The way she ran the rehearsals inspired us so much. They were fun but also hard work. Even first time dancers, within 4 or 5 rehearsals were made to feel that they are true dancers. It was amazing.
Fuyu: Acting is a dynamic process that requires interaction and rehearsals to progress. We were not professional actresses, but all of us were transformed in the show, with the help of the Director.
Juli: Is there anything you’d say to people who are trying to decide whether or not to participate?
Natalia: I can say – if you miss the feeling of being on stage – you definitely have to do it. It’s a great opportunity. Even if you don’t have experience, you can find something in yourself. The process is more about finding yourself. In all of the shows, I especially enjoyed the makeup – we all had special stage makeup. It was very professional and helped you feel the character and how to perform on the stage. I will participate this year.
Fuyu: I want to join again this year. It’s a great chance to experience and have practice on stage if you want to be an actress.