It has been a couple of weeks now since the Bodytorque season in Sydney and I am finally managing to sit down and write about the experience. All in all it was an honour to be involved and I actually keep pinching myself that I made a work on The Australian Ballet….just something I never thought I would do as a choreographer.
The first day I turned up for rehearsals I signed in to the Sydney Opera House, which is were the company was resident and performing another season in the evenings. It was quite something to go to work in such an iconic space and also to rehearse on stage- now I can say I have danced on the Sydney Opera House stage!
This season is such an interesting one for The Australian Ballet and I believe it will continue to grow and develop new audiences for them. As a contemporary choreographer with really very little experience of creating on a ballet company, I was more than a little nervous in the early rehearsals, as we had such a short time frame to create the work. It was essentially two weeks with an hour and a quarter a day to make a 10 minute work, which really is fast going! I was worried the dancers would take time to adapt to my movement style and it really didn’t leave any time for workshopping or improvising, which is how I would usually create.
To their absolute credit though, they absorbed everything so quickly and were incredibly focused and commited to what we were doing. I found quite early on that I had to be smart about the material I was giving them, it was essentially a balance of finding my movement style, adapted to what would suit their bodies and stylistic tendencies. What gorgeous dancers though-they were all beautiful artists and I was truly lucky to work with the three dancers I had- thank you Dana, John and Ben!
Another highlight for me working on this piece was the chance to collaborate with both Paul Charlier and Chris Golsby. Paul is an amazingly experienced and talented composer and Chris a wonderful art director/video artist whom I have collaborated with previously. It’s not often you have a completely harmonious creation period and Paul and Chris were just such a pleasure to work with and inspiring in their own fields. It still amazes me when I look back on the work now, that we pulled it all together in two weeks!
By the time we got into Sydney Theatre, where the show premiered, it was lovely to finally see the other choreographers pieces – it was such a diverse range of work. The season was a great success (I believe) and I was overwhelmed by the wonderful feedback following opening night. The other amazing opportunity this season provided was a first for The Australian Ballet- and that was a live streaming through Bigpond of the final show. If anyone is reading this blog and would like to see the show it is still available to view.
All in all…. what an memorable experience and one I hope I can repeat one day. I’m now back in Brisbane finishing off a piece for Queensland Ballet’s professional year students, which will be performed at the end of next week. I also have a little work to do finally updating my own personal website with all the wonderful things I have been doing this year- it’s been a little neglected. My next venture will be back down to Melbourne with The Australian Ballet to observe Greame Murphy begin his new creation on the company… until then.