Amelia's Diary #2
This is the second entry to my diary, and as my week in residency at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Emerging Female Classical Choreographer Initiative has come to a close, I am looking back on this incredible week reflecting and absorbing all the new information, people and experiences. I was given advice that I cannot wait to put into action starting out in my career, and as a young choreographer.
Walking up to the incredible Sydney Opera House on the first day and every day after that, I was feeling very special and thinking about all the great artists and people who have walked into the same house. Once I arrived at the stage door on the first day, I was introduced to Rehearsal Room 77. A beautiful, cosy studio which I would call my creative space for the week. I was able to focus solely on being a choreographer and putting myself into that mindset, which time hasn’t allowed in the past because of being a dancer taking my main focus during my 5 professional years.
I was able to work with 4 pre-professional dancers and 1 understudy who are all students of Tanya Pearson Coaching Academy. It was interesting for me to work with students and have the freedom to give them my ideas and I admire how much they threw themselves into my piece. It was also a challenge for me to be able to communicate and adapt my ideas in a way which their bodies understood.
Another challenging aspect for me was having to look critically at my work directly after creating. In order to keep moving forward with my creation, I was going home every night to look closely at my day, how I handled myself and my ideas, what worked and what didn’t and what I needed to work on the next day. It can be hard to realise the truth about your work and needing to do better, be clearer, or even just start from the beginning and think of a new idea. I was filming my piece after every rehearsal and documenting all the changes I was making so I could keep moving forward each day and change the things I wanted to.
As a dancer I always appreciated when choreographers were organised and prepared with a good plan of the rehearsal, so I felt like my time was being used wisely and that progress was being made each day. As a choreographer you are partly responsible for the mood of the room and keeping the positivity and creativity among the dancers and yourself. I am very aware of this when I am at the front of the room!
At the end of the week there was an informal showing in Rehearsal Room 77, where a few people came to see what I had worked on during the week. Everything was documented very professionally with video cameras and I was able to meet Natalia Osipova and have her in my rehearsal that day! I was also taken for a video interview about my career so far, the initiative, and about my choreographic ideas and inspirations. I think this will be a great documentation to look back on and hopefully to inspire new and up and coming female choreographers.
As part of my week in Sydney I also attended Natalia Osipova’s performance, Pure Dance. It was incredible to see her as a ballerina dancing so many different styles and introducing the audience to the modern work of European choreographers. Very inspiring for me!
During the week I was able to create a base for myself that I will be able to refer back to when I am working with the Australian Ballet. Although, with all the advice and after talking to so many choreographers during the week about their processes and influences and the lessons that they learnt along the way, I am inspired by what I will create and what I can create if I am able to open up my mind to new creative processes and not be closed or shy about experimenting with new ideas.
I’m looking forward to the next step in the initiative which will be in Melbourne working with the Australian Ballet dancers in September.
Details on the BodyTorque season here.