Where were you born and what did your parents do?
I was born in Sydney, to parents who are both in show biz. My mother and father met on Channel Nine’s Bandstand, Joanne in the ballet with good friend Ross Coleman and my father Tony in the orchestra. My family hails back to the Tivoli and vaudeville circus of the early 1900s. It was just a common Saturday watching Grandpa juggle in the front yard. My father used to accompany the ballet classes for Sydney Dance Company, with me in a bassinet at his feet.
Your career began with dance. Where did you train?
In the lounge room. Then at my mother’s ballet school, Ansell Academy of Dance, followed by Marie Walton Mahon Dance Academy, Alvin Ailey and then Queensland University of Technology. My parents wanted me to be normal … like an accountant.
You have an incredibly varied career encompassing producing, choreography, curating and even stand-up comedy. How did you make the leap from dance?
I was trained in dance, drama and voice from a young age and was passionate for a career in both theatre and dance. My family was always creating, arranging or composing something — perhaps I learnt by osmosis! By 18, I was being offered choreographic jobs — creating routines for corporate events and variety shows, hiring the dancers, arranging the costumes, dealing with the clients.
My family had a wicked sense of humour. We grew up watching Peter Sellers. I was cast in a sketch comedy show with Glynn Nicholas which later inspired me to write my own material and produce my own sketch show. I stumbled through the experience and came out a producer.
You were EP of Shaun Parker and Company for its major tour to Sadlers Wells in the UK and Europe. What was a highlight of that tour?
Definitely playing on the West End. And watching a vibrant Australian dance company and its talented performers be received so favourably by British audiences.
You were voted one of Sydney's VIVID’s Top 100 Creative Catalysts: what did you do there?
From 2007 to 2011, I curated Short Sweet & Dance — an independent dance festival showcasing 110 short dance works. In 2011 I curated a “best of” model, which toured 10 works by 10 emerging choreographers with a company of six dancers around the country, funded by Playing Australia.
What has been your biggest event to date?
In scale — HOME, starring Tim Minchin, for Perth Festival.
In complexity — Hidden Sydney, an immersive cabaret experience with 16 cast members, four floors, two laneways, twp cars, two restaurants and an audience entering every 30 minutes.
Do you still dance or choreograph?
You recently invited 30 students to take class with Angelin Preljocaj this year at the Sydney Opera House. What can we expect in the future?
More opportunities for Australian artists to engage with Sydney Opera House and visiting companies. Fostering stronger connections between young people, emerging and established artists and live performance-building platforms to support our local and international dance communities.
What skills that you learnt as a dancer would you say you have found most useful in your career?
Discipline, passion, camaraderie.
Do you get any downtime and what do you do to relax?
I take yoga . . . and remember to breathe.