Husband and wife Kip and Linda Gamblin will be two of the 10 alumni Company dancers performing in Gideon Obarzanek’s epic work Us 50. The couple sat down with us to talk about how they met 22 years ago at Sydney Dance Company, what dance means to them and their preparations for gracing the stage together again.
Linda: I remember my private audition where I had to learn Complicated Games from Berlin (a work created by Graeme Murphy in collaboration with Iva Davies and Ice House) and this was the first work I performed in. This was not long after leaving The Royal Ballet, so yes it was very complicated for me. I got the job and every day has been a happy memory!
Kip: Molly Stacey (who worked for The Australian Ballet when I was there, and a good friend of Sydney Dance Company’s Stage Manager Simon Turner) rang me and mentioned they were looking for a male dancer. I had recently left The Western Australia Ballet to act and dance in an Australian dance film Kick and I was in two minds as to which way to go next. I remember taking a class and Graeme Murphy offering me a job to start immediately.
My first rehearsal was for Salome and I was partnered with Linda. It was most definitely love at first sight. I remember her being annoyed by my lack of concentration, as I was so besotted. My favourite memories include international touring, dancing on stage with my wife and our first son watching from the viewing box.
Q. What do you love about dance?
Linda: The internal way one communicates through dance. You can’t really hide anything. Insecurities and self-judgement get in the way so there is a lot of personal development that needs to happen. Anyone who studies dance and understands dance are genuine communicators. I love working with dancers in any area of life.
Kip: We have a common language that is unspoken. Dancers have great respect for each other.
Linda: “Oh ok, yeah but no. No, I don’t perform anymore.” And then not too long after that, I said “for sure”. I had this feeling that it was going to be an opportunity not to be missed. I am so pleased I said yes. It’s great spending time in the studio as a dancer with other dancers. I’m really looking forward to production week and the performances. The whole process is such a great journey.
Kip: Strangely although it has been 15 years since dancing on stage, I have always felt I never left dance and that I would be back. These opportunities don’t come around often – to be asked is an honour.
Linda: Yoga asanas and meditation. Also viewing and coaching the incredible Pre-Professional Year dancers daily. It’s amazing how much you learn from teaching and watching their development.
Kip: Yoga, walking the dog and renovating the house.
Q. Where has life taken you since performing with Sydney Dance Company?
Linda: Currently I am Head of Training at Sydney Dance Company. I joined Sydney Dance Company as a dancer in the late nineties after working with The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Portugal. After a career in classical ballet, I was looking for something more and gratefully Sydney Dance Company was where I landed.
In my later years with the Company, I became interested in dance education and management, transitioning to Tour Manager while still performing as a dancer. When my interest grew stronger in dance education, I trained further, gaining qualifications in pilates, dance teaching and management, training and assessment, anatomy and physiology along with courses and workshops on mindfulness, mental health, self-care and resilience.
I continuously explore these ideas within Sydney Dance Company’s Advanced Training programs including the Pre-Professional Year.
Kip: A varied journey in the world of TV, film and theatre. I am really thrilled to be dancing again.
Linda: The educational side has absolutely flourished. I am very honoured to part of Sydney Dance Company’s education team and hugely excited to see where it goes next.
Kip: Sydney Dance Company pushes the boundaries differently these days but it is definitely something that they have always done.