Get to know… Pia Driver

Pia Driver is rehearsal director with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company. The company will perform at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of Dance Umbrella 2009.

What do you fear the most?
Losing those I love.
 
Which mobile number do you call the most?
My Mum’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
Byron Bay Australia has an amazing energy. I’ve never felt so calm.
 
Who is your favourite hero from fiction -­ and why?
Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice, for her strength of character.
 
What’s your favourite ritual?
I like to stretch before bed, so I can get the full benefit of sleep.
 
Which living person do you most admire – and why?
 My mother, for her strength.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
 I would like to be able to sing.

What’s your favourite website?
I don’t have one.
 
If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
 Alvin Ailey, Desmond Richardson and Jennifer Hudson.
 
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To never give up
 
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
It depends: at the moment I’m listening to a lot of Daniel Merriweather.
 
Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
Watching Richard Alston Dance Company years ago when I was at college and wanting to be up there myself.

Bonachela interviews

Don’t miss the latest issue of Time Out for an interview of Rafael Bonachela. You can also read more about him over at London Dance, where he talks about the making of The Land of Yes and The Land of No and life between London and Sydney, where he is Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company.

Apparently he has ‘a couple of very exciting new ventures coming up’: we’ll be sure to ask him at the post-show Q&A and after-party (open to all, in the Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall) on Friday evening!

Bonachela Dance Company – more rehearsal pictures

Bonachela Dance Company sent us more pictures of their rehearsals for The Land of Yes and The Land of No, taken by Ione Saizar. The pictures were taken during an improvisation exercise.

 

BDC improv exercise 3

BDC improv exercise 2

BDC - improv exercise 1

BDC improv exercise 4

Video: Bonachela’s Muse

Choreographer Rafael Bonachela and dancer Amy Hollingsworth have a special relationship, illustrated in this film made in 2004. They met when they were both dancers at Rambert Dance Company and Amy got involved in Rafael’s early creative work.

When, in 2002, Rafael Bonachela choreographed Kyle Minogue’s Fever Tour, Amy was Assistant Choreographer and Rehearsal Director. In 2006, she became a founding member of Bonachela Dance Company and when Rafael Bonachela became Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company, he invited her to join the company as a guest artist. Their latest collaboration, The Land of Yes and the Land of No, receives its UK premiere at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 25 – Saturday 26 September.

 

Director: Tim Meara
Producer: Amy Hollingsworth

Get to know… Renaud Wiser

Renaud Wiser. Credit: Ione Saizar

Renaud Wiser. Credit: Ione Saizar

Renaud Wiser was born in Switzerland and trained at the School of Dance in Geneva.

After dancing for Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève he joined the National Ballet of Marseille in France, then went on to dance with Gothenburg Ballet, before joining Rambert in 2004.

Renaud choreographed At the border of you for Resolution! 2006 at The Place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you fear the most?
Losing someone  I care about.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My girlfriend

What – or where – is perfection?
I think perfection is a concept hidden somewhere inside our mind. We have a vague idea of what it should be, and we spend a lifetime seeking it without ever really grasping it. 

Who is your favourite hero from fiction – and why?
When I was a kid my favorite hero was Luke Skywalker, from Star Wars, I must have seen the movies tens of times, braving all dangers and triumphing at the end, but now I am more interested by the anti-hero type who is struggling to find himself, like some characters of a Paul Auster’s novel. I guess it is much easier to relate to them, or at least their journey is less obvious.

What’s your favourite ritual?
I am a big fan of rituals rotating around food, so I would say most festive occasions, making biscuits for Christmas for example, which I used to do every year with my mum. 

Which living person do you most admire – and why?
That is a difficult one because I admire many people in various fields of activity, I guess I admire people that are the best in their field and have that touch of genius that takes them above the rest, like William Forsythe in dance or Roger Federer in tennis. 

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I guess playing an instrument on a very high level would be something I would love to be able to do. I learned to play the flute for a few years but reaching a level of skill when technique is not an issue anymore must be really satisfying.

What’s your favourite website?
tsr.ch , the swiss information and media  website that keeps me in touch with what is going on in my homeland.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
William Forsythe, Radiohead and rANDOM international.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Do not spend too much time looking back on things you think you should have done differently. What is to come is a much bigger and more exciting challenge, what ever it is.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
The Pretender by The Foo fighters, nothing quite like it to wake you up on the way to work.

 Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
My last performance with Rambert Dance Company for the Season of new choreography in a piece by Patricia Okenwa last spring was obviously a very emotionally charged evening. I was running around as I was already working with Rafael Bonachela as well as rehearsing  for that particular evening and had a blast during the performance with all my soon to be ex-colleagues.

Get to know… Amy Hollingsworth

Amy Hollingsworth - credit: Ione Saizar

Amy Hollingsworth - credit: Ione Saizar

Amy Hollingsworth is a dancer with Bonachela Dance Company, which she joined as a founding member in 2006.

Amy trained at the Australian Ballet School before dancing as a principal with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Peter Schaufuss Ballet. In 2000, she joined Rambert Dance Company where she won the 2004 Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Female Artist (Modern).

Amy will perform in Bonachela Dance Company’s new piece, The Land of Yes and the Land of No, which receives its UK premiere at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 25 September.

What do you fear the most?
I really don’t like being so far from my family and fear phone calls that come in the middle of the night. Luckily it’s usually one of my sisters miscalculating the time difference.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
It depends… generally it’s my fiancé’s number.

What – or where – is perfection?
Is a summer evening with salt still drying on your skin after a beach swim, feet up having a cold beer with friends. Or a cold wet rainy Sunday in a warm bed with a book you really don’t want to put down but don’t have to…. Or entertaining a small group of friends with your favourite meal and some wine. Actually there are a lot of good moments you can have in life so it’s pretty hard to pick one.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction – and why?
The Count of Monte Cristo. (It is one of my favourite books). He is tenacious, witty, intelligent, inventive, apparently so versatile nothing is beyond him (and was a pirate to rival Jack Sparrow, just slightly more gentlemanly).

What’s your favourite ritual?
Making my bed while still lying in it and trying to slide out without messing it up! That and playing backgammon over a coffee in the mornings.

Which living person do you most admire – and why?
My Dad. He has the most amazing ability to make everyone around him feel important and that they are at the centre of his attention. He is clever, wise and generous of heart.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Realistically? A gift for languages. I’m attempting to learn a second language at the moment. In a fantasy world? The ability to fly.

What’s your favourite website?
My baby niece’s blog! She’s 1 year old and lives in San Diego. My sister uploads photos and videos of her all the time. I check it every day. Yesterday there were a few clips of her learning to run (ie. stagger).

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Goodness knows what the ensuing show would look like but I would love the chance to see these amazing people bring something to Southbank Centre… Alexis Fernández (AMAZING Cuban dancer), Jeff Buckley, Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Isadora Duncan and Elvis. I imagine a show like that would wind up somewhat loud, crazy and possibly involve rhinestones.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Don’t wait for things to happen TO or FOR you, go ahead and use what you’ve got to create the life you want.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Too hard. I’m going to have to say these artists equally: Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Elvis. The Cure. Muse. Feist. Lhasa De Sela. Zero 7. Jeff Buckley.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre.
It would have to be the premiere of Bonachela Dance Company’s first ever production Voices at Queen Elizabeth Hall. After 13 years of dancing in large well-established companies it was a rush for me to be on stage with this brand new company. We closed the double bill with a piece danced to an incredible score commissioned from Matthew Herbert. It was a remarkable moment in my career.

Get to know… Cameron McMillan

Cameron McMillan - credit: Ione Saizar

Cameron McMillan - credit: Ione Saizar

Cameron McMillan is a dancer with Bonachela Dance Company.  Born in New Zealand, Cameron trained at the Australian Ballet School and danced as a principal with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and a soloist at English National Ballet.

In 2003, he joined  Rambert Dance Company, where he choreographed four works for company dancers. Cameron has also choreographed for Royal New Zealand Ballet and Intoto Dance.

The Land of Yes and the Land of No is his second project with Bonachela Dance Company.

 

 

 

 What do you fear the most?
Losing the ones I love.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My partner’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
There is no such thing, which is what makes things interesting. Although some things/experiences can come close. 

Who is your favourite hero from fiction – and why?
The Little Prince. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

What’s your favourite ritual?
Cheese on toast when I can’t sleep, so I dream. 

Which living person do you most admire – and why?
There are many, today it was a dancer with cerebral palsy. 

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
To play the piano. To dive (Olympics style!). 

What’s your favourite website?
http://www.last.fm

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
William Forsythe, Patrick Wolf, Hedi Slimane, Bill Viola and Jean Cocteau. 

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I am learning to trust my instincts, and learning that change is to be expected and embraced. 

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
It is constantly changing and usually very random because of my eclectic taste.  At the moment it is somewhere between Passion Pit, Nico Muhly, Patrick Wolf, Bon Iver, and a little of Nina Simone.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre.
The first ever show I saw at Southbank Centre, was the ballet The Nutcracker at Royal Festival Hall during Christmas in 1996 – The Sugar-Plum Fairy fell flat on her bum!