Playing Scarecrow Tiggy on Stage
Interview with choreographer Jacinta Martorella about her work "Recess", premiering as part of Triplicity this April 6&7 at the Meat Market, North Melbourne.
Tell us a bit about your work "Recess".
"Recess is a collection of ideas surrounding the word 'Play'. It takes us back to ideas that surrounded our childhood and how much of a simpler time it was when we had no limits to our creativity."
What inspired you to make the work?
"I have been working with kids for 6 years now and the biggest thing that I notice as a teacher or even just in every day life, is how imaginative children are. When you're young you don't have any huge responsibilities to worry about, so making every day fun and interesting can be as complex as it gets. I thought what a great opportunity to explore this with my cast as they're young and it's totally relatable.
All the ideas/games/behaviours that we brainstormed together have turned into sections of the work. Because the idea is about a time that my cast are living through at the moment, I think they perform each section with authenticity and this makes for a successful performance."
Where have you trained?
"I completed a 2 year Diploma at The Space School of Performance Arts under the direction of Adam Wheeler from 2015-16. In 2017 I was a member of YW2 – YellowWheel's platform for graduates and emerging artists."
Why are you interested in choreography?
"I've always known that I loved choreographing. I get such a hype out of having a mental picture/idea and seeing it physically come to life. I love being able to dive into the real specifics of something, study it, then make movement as a representation of what we discovered. And I also love choreographing around ideas that are relatable and interesting.
I also personally just love to make up wicked moves and teach them to people!"
Who inspires you the most in the choreographic world?
"If I was to make a list of all the people that have inspired me choreographically I think Alex would need to make a separate blog post! Today I draw a lot of my choreographic inspiration from companies like Dance North and Australian Dance Theatre, they are insane...
But pretty much - I don't think I would be the dancer I am today, with the movement vocabulary that I have today, with the opportunities that I have been given in the last 3 years if it wasn't for Adam Wheeler. I guess my big journey and love of contemporary dance flourished in my 2 years of training and without his direction and belief I definitely would not be the same person today."
Is there a company in the world you would most like to create for in future?
"In terms of 'creation' I think I would like to keep choreographing for lots of youth dance companies. At least for a while. I think if we can teach them young about important and interesting topics, and inspire them to go on and make dance for the rest of their lives that would be a forever accomplishment for me. As for big world dance companies, I would want to dance for them rather than create for them!"
Have there been any tough or challenging moments in the creative process?
"Not really... The tough part is probably happening now as we start to shuffle our ideas around to turn it into a show. I think because the process of making this work has been fun and interesting to the cast members and because they understand the idea it has made for more successful creative moments rather than challenging ones."
What’s your advice for a young person who is maybe interested in pursuing choreography?
"To not let anybody tell you how you should choreograph.
Choreographing is a process of making, which means that if YOU are the choreographer, the moves you make up are coming from your body and your interests. If you want to pursue choreography you have to realise that its not about 'copying' how someone else taught you to dance, its about finding your own personal vocab and inspiration and sharing it with other people. That's it."
What do you like about Spark?
I love that a lot of the company members are so young and dance way beyond their years. Alex is very informative and makes sure everyone is on the same page and when it comes to performance time you can really see this on stage.
Having lived on the Peninsula my whole life its so refreshing to see an opportunity like this for young people down here. I struggle with commuting to the city just to take a class or for a rehearsal (it's a plan-the-whole-day thing, not a 5 minute decision - and between jobs and living it feels impossible sometimes).
So having a creative outlet close to home makes me feel like I'm not completely out of the loop.
Can't wait to see where this company will be in another 5 years!"
If you'd like to see Jacinta's new work "Recess" you can book tickets HERE for SYDC's upcoming season of Triplicity at the Meat Market.