Interview: 5-minutes on... Beats on Pointe

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew-up as an Elite Gymnast, training for many years, then at the age of 14 decided to move into dance training in ballet, contemporary and jazz. I have to admit I did not enjoy ballet when I first started. Coming from a gymnastic background I found it very difficult to learn how to be graceful! I loved taking contemporary class with rolling and jumping rather than standing at the barre practicing pretty ballet hands!

It wasn’t until later on that I really found an appreciation and love for ballet. After dancing in a ballet company for a few years I decided to do something completely different and started a musical theatre course. It was one of the most rewarding learning experiences for myself as an artist and personally. Throughout this time, I also discovered how much I enjoyed choreography and creating work more than being on stage performing. I was extremely lucky to meet Jennifer and Milo, the directors from Masters Of Choreography which has lead me to be one of their chief choreographers for their touring shows.

How did you get involved with Beats on Pointe?

I had been lucky enough to be involved in Masters Of Choreography’s Showcases Once Upon a Time and A Nightmare On Dance Street where I was able to form a relationship with Jennifer and Milo. Jennifer called me one day saying she wanted to do a show that fused ballet and street dance and she would like me to be involved as the ballet choreographer. I was beyond excited to be involved in choreography for this show and to work more closely with her.

Tell us about the show and how it was created:

The show is epic! It definitely showcases the best of both genres individually and blended together. There is no underlying story but each piece brings something unique and different. Our dancers are exceptionally talented bringing an energy on stage that is truly inspiring. Jennifer wrote and produced the show and she was very specific with what she wanted. However, she was always open to new suggestions, music, costuming and props. She was absolutely incredible to work with. She gave me a whole new insight to creating commercial ballet for a new audience and was always so supportive and encouraging of my work.

Mixing ballet and street dance – why those two styles and how do you make it work?

These two styles of dance are the most prominent styles within the dance industry. They are extremely different from one another and can be very difficult to merge together when creating work. Phillip Haddad our Hip Hop choreographer and I had never worked together but we both had an understanding of each other’s work and how to blend our work together to make sure we created something so effortless, dynamic and powerful for the show. I think because my work is not very traditional it was much easier to merge our styles together. I use jazz and contemporary mixed into traditional ballet to make my work more edgy and current.

The show also has comedy moments – tell us more about that:

Working very closely with Jennifer has taught me how important it is to connect your show content with your audience. She is incredible at studying her audience and being able to deliver to their expectations. This was always going to be a feel-good show that would make you want to get up in your seat and have a dance and make you leave still wanting to dance. Which we often do see! When creating the show, we didn’t really add the moments of comedy until we were in the studio working with the dancers. A lot of the comedic moments are developed from them individually and what they bring to the show. As the show progressed we were able to see what comedic moments worked with our audiences and what didn’t. The moments we do have are subtle and fit perfectly within the content of the show and our dancers are exceptional at making our audience laugh and be entertained.

What’s your favourite moment from the show?

I have watch every show from opening night to now and I still can’t pick a favourite moment. I have watched this show over and over and every time I walk out with a new feeling of excitement. The music makes you feel like you want to dance, the dancers make you feel like you want to dance, the energy on stage and through the audience is electric. I love that the dancers receive a standing ovation after every show because they are so deserving of it and humbled that the audience can appreciate that too. There are still moments in the show that give me goosebumps especially when you hear the roar of the audience when a favourite song comes on and the dancers are in their element smashing out the choreography on stage. It’s pretty awesome!

Tell us in three words why someone should book a ticket?

Why wouldn’t you?

Anything else you’d like to add?

Beats On Pointe is not just a show that caters for a dance audience. It is extremely entertaining and just as thrilling for the general audience. It has an awesome soundtrack of modern and old school music intertwined with exceptional choreography. We literally see people dancing in their seats and well into the foyer after the show has finished.

Masters of Choreography, Beats on Pointe
The Peacock
20 Feb – 24 Feb 2018

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