March 10th 2020
TOKYO – Whirling, spinning, reaching, grasping – Japanese wheelchair dancer Kenta Kambara’s emotive performances are wordless testimony to artistic passion and possibility.
“If you can’t walk with your legs, it’s OK to walk with your hands. If there is something you want to do but cannot, it’s OK to find another way,” Kambara, 34, a computer systems engineer and father of a two-year-old daughter, told Reuters.
Kambara, whose upper body is well-developed from propelling himself with his arms since childhood, began dancing five years ago and less than a year later, performed at the Rio Paralympics closing ceremony.
The self-taught Kambara’s repertoire includes handstands on his wheelchair, serpentine moves of his lean, muscular arms and slender fingers, and dizzying spins on a collapsed wheelchair, itself an integral part of his performances.
Although he had long tended to hide his paralyzed legs out of embarrassment, that feeling changes when he dances.
“Even if the Games are canceled, I will have another chance to stand on a world stage,” he said.