Q&A with Cass Mortimer Eipper


12 February 2014

Dancer Cass Mortimer Eipper chats about our upcoming production Interplay, which premieres in Sydney in March, followed by Canberra and Melbourne.


What kind of creative tasks has Rafael given you in the studio during development for 2 in D Minor?

In the beginning of Rafael’s development for the work, we discussed several tasks for movement creation. I began by writing down upper body gestures from one person’s everyday mannerisms and then someone else’s lower body movements. These would be combined to create combinations of mismatched actions and then further developed into a larger phrase.

What has it been like rehearsing with a solo violinist?

We are extremely fortunate to be working with Veronique Serret for Rafael’s new work. Creating and then performing with live musicians is a unique and wonderful experience. The interactive conversational nature of musician dancer collaborations is different every time, so you can always feel fresh and spontaneous in each performance.

Gideon Obarzanek has collaborated with dramaturg David Woods for his piece L’Chaim!. Can you describe what it has been like working with a dramaturg and choreographer?

Gideon’s work has been great to be a part of.  Having David on board has made the creative process very different from the other two works in the program. We have had to be alert at all times as ideas quickly become multitasking bonanzas. An example, was dancing a lengthy movement phrase while holding a microphone to answer spontaneous questions from David.  Processing the question and then coherently answering, while maintaining our physical phrase was incredibly challenging.

With 3 very diverse works featured in Interplay, what’s your typical class schedule like at the moment?

There is a lot going on at the moment. Different choreographers have their development period at different times so the intensity for each work tends to go in waves. As we get closer to performance time we have a fairly even workload.

You recently won a 2013 West Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’. What initially drew you to choreography and what works have you created so far?

Prior to creating for WA Ballet’s choreographic workshop in 2007, I would never have considered myself a choreographer. Once I began the process of creating with other bodies in space to music I quickly got the bug. Since then, I have learned a huge amount about the art and learned more about what I’m driven by and how I want to express myself. I’m sure my work will continue to evolve as time goes on but that’s part of the joy. So far I’ve been fortunate to have many opportunities to create on others and also perform my own work. These have included several works on West Australian Ballet, Link Dance Company, Ludwig and Solo work. As a result of my choreography I have had the privilege to perform and be awarded for my work at international competitions and festivals. I’m always inspired by work around me and am continually reflecting on what I appreciate and how I can further my own craft to achieve satisfaction.

You can see Cass on stage for Interplay from 15 March – 5 April at Sydney Theatre, 10 – 12 April at Canberra Theatre Centre and 30 April – 10 May at Southbank Theatre, Melbourne.

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