The Snow Dance, sensual and artistic, mesmerized all who watched it. Adorned in a glistening white kimono, Sayuri graced the Japanese stage slowly, her arms reaching for the life she believed would never come. The snow, falling effortlessly around her, symbolized her transformation. Once soft like the rain, she had now become cold like ice. All was laid bare on the stage: her wounded past, her uncertain present, and a future that relied solely on hope. Portraying the character so passionately, Beijing born actress Zhang Ziyi illustrated part of her own story during the film. Though she was never a geisha, Zhang was more than familiar with her character’s personality. “There are only two sides to one’s personality: it’s either tough or soft,” she told Time Out Shanghai. Like her character in Memoirs of a Geisha, she too has developed tough skin, but has maintained a soft spoken demeanor, generous heart and feminine grace.