“Watching amazing dancers performing is a real joy for me and helps me understand the world better” – Wesley Enoch, Sydney Festival Director
“I used to be a dancer… about 25 kilos ago. That’s my usual joke.
I started dancing late. I was 15 and found that dance was just one of things I got excited by. I remember dancing at parties and feeling like my teenage self-consciousness just melted away. Feeling the music and the extremity of my body was amazing. I went on to study dance (as it turns out my first dance teacher Annette Downs now works for Tasmania Performs who are producing The Season for the upcoming Festival) and eventually I went on to university where I studied and enjoyed performing – mixing theatre and dance. I studied ballet for a while and really enjoyed the strength it gave me. Then my first jobs were as a dancer and choreographer. Though I gave up dance as a vocation in my mid 20’s, I have turned into that crazy uncle who dances at weddings like no one is watching. I still love watching dance and have developed a performance phantom limb where my legs will shake and rock along with what I am watching.
I don’t know what you think of as dance these days but I have witnessed some amazing works where you can’t really delineate dance and performance art and theatre and film and circus and and and… dance is a broad church where the skilled body is exposed in space and shaped for the audience. Watching amazing dancers performing is a real joy for me and helps me understand the world better.
Whenever I am travelling the world I find a certain comfort when I see dance works. They excite me and give me a space of calm reflection. I like thinking that bodies reflect the cultures they come from – they say Australians jump and turn like they’re in a paddock rather than a theatre.
Do you think there are connections between the country you grew up in and how you use space?”
Explore Sydney Festival’s jam-packed dance program here.