Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Martha Nishitani Interview
Narrator: Martha Nishitani
Interviewer: Sara Yamasaki
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 15, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-nmartha-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

SY: You mentioned that modern dance, in that it was different from, or is different from ballet, that you develop from the technique you express it in your own way. And you had choreographed once your first piece, called "Credo in Conflict." And that was a piece that was actually expressing your conflicting feelings between your love of dance and also your obligations that you felt you needed to uphold with your family, taking care of your mother and the florist and all those things. Tell me about this piece.

MN: Well, it was, as you say, it was a conflict between wanting to dance and feeling the obligations I had to my family and to the business. And it just seemed like the more I danced, the more I was drawn away from my family and my mother and the business. And so that was the conflict that I -- and I didn't know whether I was going to have to give up dance or not. The dance came very easily because it was foremost in my thoughts and feelings. So I didn't have any trouble with composing it.

SY: And what did you discover when you choreographed this piece?

MN: Well, it was quite a satisfaction that I could put this into movement. So I kinda knew this is what I wanted to do.

SY: So you mean it was a satisfaction in realizing that you could capture this conflicting emotion in movement?

MN: Yeah. And then I could -- I knew that I could in the future, could capture and put into motion any subject matter that I wanted to, to dance about.

SY: So in some ways, that became a turning point for you to really focus in on dance, would you say?

MN: I think so. And of course, Eleanor King was very supportive. She liked the dance, and she liked the costume.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.