Photo by Alexander Kabanov

Meet new Company dancer Luke Hayward

04 February 2019

Originally from Alice Springs, and recently returned from Russia where he danced with the Balet Moskva as a soloist, new Company dancer Luke Hayward shares his dance inspiration and what he’s most looking forward to this year.

Q. What attracted you to joining Sydney Dance Company?

Right before I left for Germany, I watched Sydney Dance Company’s triple bill De Novo, containing works by Rafael Bonachela, Larissa McGowan, and Alexander Ekman. Having always heard of the company but never being able to watch them from Alice Springs, I figured I needed to see them before I left. After the show, I was so inspired. Straight away, I knew this was the kind of contemporary dance I wanted to do, and I told myself if I ever returned to Australia, Sydney Dance Company would be a company I would like to work for.

Q. If you weren’t a professional dancer, what else would you do and why?

If I didn’t dance, I think I would give myself two options; I would either do administration work for a theatre, because the idea of working for a theatre but sitting in a chair sounds nice. Otherwise, I would probably do something related to international relations, like embassy work. I love learning new languages and having the constant exposure to different cultures. I spoke with people who worked in the embassies in Russia, and something about it just attracted me. It’s hard work, but the cultural exchange and relationships between the countries interests me.

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Q. What inspires you?

I tend to spend a long time on Youtube or Spotify listening to music that inspires me. My mood changes so the music changes, but I have a playlist of artists I find that I like to improvise to or one day ‘create’ something with. I also spend a lot of time on social media looking up videos of companies and dancers, and watching any rehearsal videos they may share. I like to analyse movements and figure out choreographic patterns/styles between choreographers so that I can continue to grow with what artists are doing these days. I also save all my favourite dance archive links, and spend hours watching videos of past productions and analysing choreographers’ works. Which then leads me onto researching sculptures, paintings, poems, political situations, etc. for further inspiration.

Q. What are you most looking forward to at Sydney Dance Company in 2019?

I’m looking forward to working with new dancers and choreographers. It’s so exciting to perform Raf’s work and to perform the new creations of guest artists. I definitely feel like it’s a company where the dancers constantly grow and it’s what excites me about the year.

Q. What advice would you give your younger self?

There’s a lot, but a big one would be ‘believe in yourself and don’t be shy’. The moment you believe in yourself, it opens a lot of doors for you to experience new things.

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See Luke Hayward perform in Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary triple bill
Season One: Bonachela / Nankivell / Lane in Sydney March 26 – April 13.

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Photo credit: Alexander Kabanov

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