Todd Dewberry: 'it was impossible not to be inspired'.
Todd Dewberry's most recent role was with the Australian tour of Chicago the Musical. We asked him about his career to date.
Where are you from?
Where did you undertake your full-time training?
What level of education had you attained before beginning your full-time training?
I had received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Hons) from the University of Sydney, which required a five-year absence from the dance community during my time at university.
Did you make any unexpected discoveries while undertaking your full-time studies?
ED5International is exceptional in how curated the educational environment is. Directors William A Forsythe, Elena De Cinque and Mario De Cinque have created and nurtured a deeply personal learning experience in which each student is seen and heard individually. As such, the unexpected discoveries were innumerable and available to any student who applied themselves.
Did you change your mind or have a change of attitude about your career goals in any way while you were studying?
I entered the course as an incredibly inexperienced performer with no formal acting, singing or technical training. Therefore, my original attitude toward my career was that I simply wanted to dance professionally, with no thought as to what that might actually entail. ED5 developed my understanding of the technicalities and specificities of the industry so that I was better able to pinpoint not only where my true passions lay but also which avenues would enable me to support myself financially and creatively within the often precarious arts industry. Through introducing me to dance styles such as Fosse and experienced musical theatre choreographers such as Leslie Bell, my career path has been drastically altered and enhanced.
What is your best memory of your studies?
I was able to dance, sing and act every day for two years -- this was unheard of for me. For young, passionate performers to fully immerse themselves in their studies with a focused end goal is more invaluable than I even realised at the time. William A Forsythe is a force of nature. It’s impossible to share a rehearsal space with him without leaving inspired and reminded of why we all do what we do.
How quickly did you gain a professional position after graduation?
With a decent helping of beginner’s luck and the weight of my two years of training on my side, I secured a contract as a dancer in Opera Australia’s 2016 production of Luisa Miller two weeks after graduation. Opera Australia has been and continue to be exceptional employers for dancers and performers across Australia, and their involvement has been paramount to my career successes.
Tell us a little about your present job.
I’ve recently had the privilege of touring Australia in the acclaimed production of Chicago the Musical alongside Casey Donovan, Alinta Chidzey and Natalie Bassingthwaighte, before commencing rehearsals for Opera Australia’s production of La Traviata on Sydney Harbour.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were a student?
I would have hoped for the foresight to anticipate the patience and determination required to achieve your desired level of success within the industry. Only with time and dedication can we hope to reach our personal goals, which are made all that more special by the journey we took to reach them. Your full-time studies are only the beginning of your dance education -- we must continue to push for growth every day and on every job.
Photo: Dewberry in ‘Chicago’, with which he toured Australia.
Read more inspiring personal accounts of student life in our annual pullout Full-Time Studies Guide in Spring (September/October/November) issue - OUT NOW! Buy your copy from your favourite dance shop or online here.