We caught up with Dancenorth artistic director Kyle Page ahead of this week’s new show to find out more about he and his five dancers — some of the best professionals in the country — survive the physical demands of an average of eight hours training a day. He also tells us about his own performances all over the world, from India to the Arctic Circle; experiences that have impacted on his work back in Townsville.
“There is no greater space for increasing creative capacity and fuelling inspiration than being surrounded by nature and far away from phones and the internet!”
As professional athletes, how do you ensure your five dancers retain their fitness and endurance for performing, yet avoid injuries during the year? We train daily and this incorporates several mind and body techniques designed to support the use of a full range of mental, emotional and sensorial processes of dance creation. This would typically include a range of classes and activities like ballet, contemporary dance, free weights, Pilates, yoga, break dancing and even a bit of acrobatics.
The dancers work with me or visiting choreographers to create new works and rehearse upcoming productions, so they will be in the studio for an average of eight hours a day.
What training are you doing at the moment? Personally, I have been more in the office in my role as artistic director, so on an average day I’m in the studio physically training for four hours a day, but in the lead up to a show, this would increase to eight or more hours a day.
“The dancers are professional athletes, and this work displays the amazing control they have of their bodies”
How do you keep your body fuelled? I always try to have a healthy balanced diet. I start my day with fresh juice — my favourite is ‘Green lemonade’ consisting of kale, apple, lemon and ginger — and from there, I keep it balanced with whole foods, veggie and natural proteins and I avoid processed foods.
You have performed all over the world — what would be the most interesting experience in your job so far? I have been involved in two artistic residencies — one in Varanasi, India, and just last month I was on a Barquentine Tall Ship in the Arctic Circle. They have both drastically impacted my perspectives and creative processes. There is no greater space for increasing creative capacity and fuelling inspiration than being surrounded by nature and far away from phones and the internet!
What’s next for you? We are currently preparing for an Australian tour of ‘In Two Minds’ — a double bill featuring a new work by Alisdair Macindoe and a duet created by Amber Haines [Kyle’s wife and long-time collaborator] and I. We will be touring throughout August to Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and Melbourne, so it’s quite exciting.
Tell us about the show that you opened this week. We’ve have had an exciting young Melbourne choreographer, Alisdair Macindoe, here for the past month and he has created a new work ‘A Pre-Emptive Requiem for Mother Nature’. Alisdair’s new work looks at the magic of the organic world and reflects on physical phenomena we often take for granted, like how birds flock together and the motion of waves. The dancers are professional athletes, and this work displays the amazing control they have of their bodies. They are some of the best contemporary dancers in the country and perform beautifully in sync with each other. I know that any athlete at any level will appreciate what goes in to this one-hour performance.
Dancenorth has a special two-for-one offer for Goers — you can see ‘A Pre-Emptive Requiem for Mother Nature’ and bring a friend for free — just quote ‘AFCM’ when booking.
You have until Sunday, August 9 to see the show and the physicality involved. For more information or to book, see danncenorth.com.au.