#1Pointe shoe painter Ree【Interview】

Hi!  I’m Tomoya Ichikawa. (@tomochan8282)


I interviewed Ms.Ree who established Pointe shoe painting. This is the art genre that was created for the first time in the world. Today I’ll introduce point shoe painting artist Ree. She is the founder of this performance style in the world.


Ms.Ree realized an idea in her heart and connected to the world by taking overwhelming action.  She talked the history of try and error.


Ree’s official website is here↓↓



#1Pointe shoe painter Ree【Interview】

  1.  I put paints on my toes and walk
  2.  I tried in an audition
  3.  I tried in a wide place

#1Pointe shoe painter Ree【Interview】

I put paints on my toes and walk

What was the start you thought about drawing a picture with wearing a toe shoes?


When you realize to start tod style of performance?


I had an experience working as a stage director assistant.  It was 6 months after I started that job. 


I became to get an image again and again that color spreads at my feet when I was dancing it started about six months later when I started first career as an assistant of stage manager.


Did you get the image naturally?


Yes.  I got the image on my way to work.


It was a very mysterious thing. I did not understand the meanings.  And, after I experienced a stage director assistant for one year, I returned to dance.  I thought it might be good to try contemporary dance, not ballet. 


So I did not need toe shoes.


You did not need to wear toe shoes.


That’s right. There were a lot of toe shoes at my house, so I thought it was waste to throw away.


I wished other uses.  At that time, I had many time.  Because I quit the job of a stage director assistant.


About 3 months, I was doing various experiments.  For example, I went to dance lessons and tried what I came up with earnestly.


Moreover, I draw a picture with a music and imitated a dancing artist, and so on.  I draw a picture on my hands and arms.  So that when the arms are fit, the patterns are combined.


Also when it was raining, I dropped paint on the veranda.  Then color of paint was spreaded by rain.  Everything were my play.


That is so unique!!


Anyway I tried what I came up with.  I repeated such a thing, and one of them was a toe shoe.


I wondered that if I paint my toes and walk with it, what kind of footprints will appear?

Toe shoes was one of your play.


Drawing paint with toe shoes was very slippery.  It was extremely dangerous.  I thought that I had better not do such a dangerous thing.  But it was fun.


The other day, there was a Christmas party at my mother’s house.  Then she told me. Could you perform your dance?


It was the first time to perform Pointe shoe painting.

I tried in an audition


I also tried it in an audition.  Anyway, I wanted to try it.  But I failed the audition easily. haha.


Thats too bad.


Yes.  Whatever I thought, it was difficult to do such a things on the stage.  It was an audition where the street performers go to try.  As Bringing in paint was allowed, I tried.


However, I failed in the first examination easily.


Besides getting it clean up was very hard and took too much time.  I got clean it up next to people who pass an examination.  They was explained the next examination next to me. I was cleaning.


Crinkle crinkle crinkle… crinkle crinkle crinkle…haha.


It was a sad situation.


I was very ashamed and could not stand it.  I came home with tears and tears.


How was the reaction of the people looking at your performance?


At that time, I thought that standing on toes is the best performance.


Did not you draw a circle like you can now?


No, I didnt.  I couldnt came up with such an idea.  I didnt know what I can draw a circle.


At the very beginning, you drew a point.


Yes, I drew a point.


You tried it in the audition.


Yes, then a judge said to me. Is that all?


Were you said by the judge like that?


The judge was a German who has a character with sharp.  He said to me, Is that all?  Dance more!”  


But I could not do improvisation dance at that time.  I needed a choreography.


There is a choreography in the ballet.


Sure.  I was dancing for about 10 seconds and he said Time is up! hahaha.


Thats too severe.  You experienced such a sad feeling.


It was a deep sad feeling.  Even if I came home, my regret did not go away.


So I was spreading and watching my picture again. And I remembered the judges word Is that all ?


Then I got a flash of lightning.  Oh!! I can draw a line !


When you came home, you got a flash.


I also drew a semicircle.  Oh, I can also draw a circle !  And, I lay down on my huge picture.


You lay down on your huge picture.


Yes.  I lay down.  Then I thought.


Oh yeah !  I can fight in the world !!


You were in deep sad feelings for the audition result.


And in disappointment, you came up with an idea of drawing a line.  And you lay down. Then you thought 


Oh yeah!  I can fight in the world ??


 😆 Bomb 😆 


So I called my mother and told Please wait uploading the movie of Pointe shoe painting to SNS.  I did not want to be imitated by other people.


You sent the movie to your mother.  And you said Wait a moment please.  Time have not come yet.


Sure. I didnt want to be imitated.


If I open the work before I complete, for example, if there is a great team and they imitate my performance, I must regret it.


This is my chance fighting in the world.


Good judgment.

I tried in a wide place


After that, I joined a program The artist residence where about 50 artists joined.  I failed various auditions, but I passed only that audition. 


The program gave a space of about 9 square meters per person.  It was divided.  Do you know BankART Studio?


I joined the program and opened my performance in front of various artists.  Then everyone enjoyed it.


The reaction was completely different compared to previous audition.


Everyone said Who the hell is she?  At that time, I performed on a small scale like 1 m × 1 m.


Then they told me You should try it in a wider area.  And I moved to a wide place as I was told by everyone.


You got a lot of ideas.


I accepted everyones advice without argument.


I did not understand what is an artist like at all.  I wanted to study.  After a term of 3 months, there was a presentation in the last week.


Then I opened 5 m × 5 m performance for the first time.

It became 25 times compared to the first one.  How was it?


All the poisons.  I felt that all the poisons in my body was released.


Did you feel that a bad things in your body was flying away while dancing?


Yeah.  But I was scared.


About two weeks before the performance, I felt the fear whether I can do  such a thing and asked me Is it OK to do such a thing?”  I cried and said to the staff.  I want to quit my performance.


I made the staff really bothered.


You tried to quit.


Sure.  Because I felt scared.


Please take what you felt scared to pieces more.


I have never seen such a thing before, and never heard of it.  This is what I am about to do. 


May I do it??


You felt that May I do it?


The first thing is scary.


There is no information at all.


I thought Can I really do it?  I wonder what I can say. 


While we are growing up, the first experience gradually decrease.  Didnt you have any experiences?


When I went overseas for the first time, I might have such a feelings.


Yeah thats right!  Such a feeling.


It is a moment that our level are about to rise at one push.




Because there is no information at all, so experience is the only way to know what will happen to me, isnt it?




This is uneasy.


Thats why I was struggle to do.


Preparation was so hard.  I carried a roll paper everyday.  I didnt think about physical capacity at all.  It needed a lot of physical strength to carry 1.5m wide 10m roll paper.  It’s so heavy.  I carried it by myself and have to spread it.


After spreading, I paste the paper by using tapes for dozens of meters while becoming sweaty.  Moreover, I was dancing and dancing and I was covered with a lot of paint.  I cannot hold physically anymore.


There was a physical problem.  However, you got over the difficulties and accomplished your performance.


The fear you felt, how did it go?


My fear has gone somewhere!  Painting is amazing.


Someone said that painting is a therapy.

Painting is a therapy.


For example, there are a person who learned and paint a lot at a school specializing in art.  However, they leave from art after graduating.  Their therapy has finished.


Ohh I see!!  That is very interesting.


But someone who can continue without being away is a crazy person.  The poison still remains in their body.


Their disease is heavy, or they should be a specialist by nature.  A talented person is something strange. haha.




I feel that poison will not come out for life.


I see.  Perhaps, I might have finished therapy.




Yes.  When I was 25 years old, I could not find a place using my energy.  I worked in sales at that time, and I thought I have to solve this problem.  So I went to Cuba.


People in Cuba cannot do business on their own and cannot make money freely.  I wanted to know where the motivation of Cuba people are for living.  So I went to Cuba to make sure.


I looked at the people who are enjoying their expressions freely, such as drawing pictures, singing songs, and so on.  I understood this is what I should try. 


So I joined Japanese traditional theater company Bungakuza and started theatrical arts.  I guess it was about two years that I continue it.  After that, My therapy was over.


Your therapy was over.


Yes.  In that two years, my poison might have flew away.  I dont think particular that I want to stand on the stage now.


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