Q&A with Jesse Scales


24 April 2014

Dancer  Jesse Scales on Interplay, the striking electro acoustic score of Raw Models and her top 5 music tracks.

What is the most interesting thing about Interplay for you?

For me, the most interesting part about Interplay is the fact that it is a triple bill. I have had the opportunity to work with three choreographers each with their own developed styles. This means three different ways to challenge myself, physically and mentally and experience three distinctive ways the choreographers create their works. It is extremely insightful for me, especially as I am still at the beginning of my career and I would like to develop further my own way of creating diverse movements. In Sydney Dance Company we are given so many opportunities and you become like an ever expanding sponge soaking it all up.

Describe a typical day for you in the studio.

A typical day consists of a morning technique class (ballet or contemporary) beginning at 9:30am, and then rehearsals for the rest of the day until 6pm. When we work with choreographers other than Rafael, we generally make sure we rehearse in blocks of time with them so we can gain the most we can. We also need to fit in gym work, rehab and pilates to help maintain our bodies.

The Raw Models score has been composed by German electro acoustic duo 48nord. What is it like dancing to this kind of music?

At first the music was quite challenging. Most of the time there is no prominent beat or consistent count, but after many rehearsals, you begin to find your own cues and rhythms throughout it. It can feel groovy and feisty. I believe the composition reflects the movement so well that the steps match up with the random clicks and sounds giving it a seamless understanding of the mood of the work.

Where do you draw your inspiration from as a dancer?

Artistry wise, I find I draw from the way the movement makes me feel, a sensation. The other Company dancers are fantastic sources of inspiration. I also try and see as many dance works as I can, whether live or via video, to help fill my pool of stimuli. Choreographically, I’m finding more and more that the range of things that inspire me is growing. Music is definitely my ‘go to’ for inspiration, a pulsating beat or a classical flourish. Music is what first drove me to dance and practicing music helped me understand and feel it even more. However, I also like imagery, whether it’s the colour of an object or the texture of it, or an idea.

What are the top 5 tracks on your iPod playlist right now?

My top 5 tracks are constantly changing, depending on my mood, the day etc. Right now they happen to be:

Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy

Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Breezeblocks by Alt-J

I Can Talk by Two Door Cinema Club

Paradise Circus by Massive Attack

You can see Jesse on stage for Interplay from 30 April – 10 May at Southbank Theatre, Melbourne.

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