Entertainment Hive 2020

Jesse Scales' triple dance treat

By Honey B

Professional dancer Jesse Scales loves a challenge and she's got one in Sydney Dance Company's latest work, De Novo. The company's groundbreaking new work features three unique dance pieces and Scales is thrilled to be dancing in each piece - Sydney Dance Company's artistic director Rafael Bonachela's Emergence; Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman's Cacti and Adelaide's own Larissa McGowan's Fanatic. "I love triple bills because you get a little bit of three completely different shows and you have the bottom line of our great company, Sydney Dance Company, performing each one,'' Scales enthuses. "I love that the shows are so unique and I am so fortunate to be able to perform in all three of them. "It's a nice challenge for me as a dancer to push myself in three different ways.'' Scales says loves each work in completely different ways. "What I love about Emergence is that Rafael Bonachela has this knack of tasking his dancers with coming up with some of the movements, so that later in the piece we are able to perform our own steps and share those with the audience. "Cacti is great to perform and we had Alexander come over when we first mounted the show. "But so many people grew-up with Alien and Predator and the work is so fun to perform. We had a bit of homework for this one and had to watch all of the Alien and Predator movies. "The popcorn certainly came out for that homework!'' But it is Emergence that Scales harks back to as she chats about the music and the costumes. "Emergence is really what the Sydney Dance Company does best - it's our own style and our own stories that we add our own flair and style to. "The music for Emergence is just beautiful and you can download the album from iTunes. The music is by singer/songwriter Sarah Blasko and composer Nick Wales and I just love listening to it. "It's not an hour of instrumentals, Sarah is singing lyrics and she's got such a beautiful voice that I just can't help but sing as well. "The tunes stick in your head and I think that's beneficial for modern dance audiences because if they don't understand the piece they have the opportunity to catch onto the music quite well. "The dance and the music go hand-in-hand.'' To top off the piece, acclaimed Australian fashion designer Dion Lee has crafted an exclusive collection of costumes for the production. "I am not sure how much costume design Dion Lee has done and fashion design is quite different to costume design. "He's so good at designing fashion and I love his pieces and he's done an amazing job with our costumes and I think he was learning with us. "There's one section where we wear half suits and in a normal suit you can't swing your arms up high or lift people and we have extra panelling to be able to do that and Dion Lee has certainly added some glitz without being too glitzy to our costumes in Emergence.'' Scales says she is looking forward to coming back to Adelaide where she honed her dancing skills. Jesse was an Adelaide Festival Centre GreenRoom member in 2009 when she participated in a GreenRoom workshop with New York dance company Complexions. "It's so good to come back to Adelaide and see friends again and have everyone come to the show. "I love the Festival Centre and GreenRoom, which is a program that gave me the fantastic opportunity to travel to New York and study there for a few weeks with the New York dance company, Complexions. "It was so expensive to get to New York but GreenRoom gave me a grant to get there.'' There's no doubt this dancer from Hobart was meant to star on the stage, with her first professional role at the age of six with ADT (Australian Dance Theatre) and Meryl Tankard. "ADT came to Tasmania with its show 1999 and they needed two little girls and I got one of the roles and it was a wonderful first experience. "The curtain went up with us walking across the stage and I knew then that I had to perform. I love performing, it's my comfort zone.'' Sydney Dance Company's De Novo, Her Majesty's Theatre, 6-8 August, 7pm. Bookings: BASS 131 246
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