Subscriber Spotlight: Michael Pusey


11 October 2019

No performance is complete without the most important element – our audience! At our 2020 launch we had the pleasure of catching up with Michael Pusey, one of our most passionate subscribers who has been subscribing for the last 42 years.

Q. How and when were you first introduced to Sydney Dance Company?

We came to some of the first Sydney Dance Company performances at Kinselas in about 1977 and have subscribed every year since.

Q. Do you remember the first performance you attended?

No but we remember that it was at Kinselas and that Andrea Troy danced with her forearms. That was her signature. Another early performance was a wonderful send-up of the dance of the seven veils. The stage was so tiny that we were always frightened that one of the dancers might fly off into our laps! Initially the Company set out to build audiences with easy unpretentious feel-good stuff that gradually became much more sophisticated. But the Company never lost that wonderful unpretentious care for the audience.

Q. What made you subscribe to Sydney Dance Company in 2020?

The extraordinary quality of the dance and choreography — of course! The extra magical element? We feel that our response matters to each one of you. We love your honest, pure, communication. It is a signature quality of Sydney Dance Company, one that is ingrained in your whole culture. It’s not wish fulfilment or a projection on our part, but something that you all send out to us. And, yes we do so love the-meet-the-dancers evenings. The more simple answer to the question is that we are now addicts!

Q. Can you describe how it feels to be part of the audience at a Sydney Dance Company performance?

It’s thrilling! A remarkable quality of a Sydney Dance Company performance is the connection with the dancers. We receive the performance as a gift from the Company dancers: as something that is personally offered to us. We have a feeling for what Janessa, Holly and Jesse do; for their distinctive inflections, and the same goes for many others. This live connection and the care that you give to reaching for your audience is palpable. It’s beautiful, real and hugely enlivening.

We come with their faces in our thoughts and in a half-conscious way, congratulate and thank each of them under our breath all through the performance. They seem to welcome that too!

Q. What keeps you coming back to watch Sydney Dance Company?

For a long time fans like us (since those first performances at Kindselas!) appreciate the warming quality of what you do. It makes us feel happier in our skin — there is an enlivening energy and generosity in all that you do. I am an ‘ol bloke now but you should know that the moment you start dancing my heart rate goes through the roof! The electric energy is extraordinary. It takes me at least 20 minutes to settle after the last curtain call.

There is none of the precious aloofness that is too often an affectation among artists. There is absolutely no bubble of self-reference. In fact, after the most recent event we attended for the launch the 2020 Annual Program, Dimitri, one of the Company Dancers, took special pleasure in circulating and talking to us — at the end of what would have been an exhausting day. We appreciate this and love you for it.

The Company was committed to building a community under Graeme Murphy. Rafael has raised and nurtured all this to another level with obvious love and care.

Q. Would you recommend others to attend Sydney Dance Company performances? If so, why?

I would indeed. We have a world top dance company in our very own city. We feel nourished by your art and it breathes sunshine and joy into our life. We so appreciated your generosity in a very personal way. We don’t quite get that feeling from any other dance companies and only very occasionally from the very best theatre/drama performances.

Become a 2020 subscriber to save 15% on tickets plus other special benefits. Go in the draw to win a Luxury Shopping and Dining Experience when you subscribe before 1 December 2019.

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