Dancers all across Australia are anticipating the tour of contemporary dance idol Travis Wall, thanks to Dance Informa and Energetiks. Wall is well known for his Emmy Award-winning work on So You Think You Can Dance, as well as his sell-out touring company, Shaping Sound. He is in such high demand that after several years of communication and planning, he is finally coming to Australia to attend VDF Warrnambool, a full day dance festival in country Victoria, and hold masterclasses in Sydney, at Roundhouse, University of NSW. The buzz is electric, and tickets are selling fast. Here, Wall talks with excitement about his upcoming visit.
GET YOUR TICKETS TO DANCE WITH TRAVIS at www.victoriandancefestival.com.
Travis, we are so excited to be bringing you to Australia. What are you most looking forward to?
“I am most looking forward to having the full Australian experience. I’m excited to get to experience the dance community in Australia, as well as explore Sydney and Melbourne! I’ve only been to Australia once, and I just felt like my time was way too short there. I’ve been dying to come back, and it’s finally happening!”
What can dancers expect from your classes?
“I expend a lot of energy in my classes and expect my students to meet me on the same level. I am looking for the dancers who are focused. Dancers who are determined to challenge themselves and grow throughout the class through discoveries.”
Why do you take time out amongst your busy career to teach young dancers?
“I love teaching because if it weren’t for my teachers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I grew up taking convention classes from Ray Leeper, Mia Michaels, Wade Robson and Suzi Taylor. And those experiences helped shape me into the artist I am today!”
How do you want a dancer to walk into your class, and how do you want them to leave?
“I want a dancer to walk in to my space completely open. An open mind to remove all boundaries of what you think you can and can’t do, an open heart to accept yourself and lead with passion for what you love, and an open hand to accept everyone around you in the space and make a new connection with someone. And when they leave, it’s simple. I want you to be inspired. In dance, in life, as a person, as a friend. I hope you take something away from our experience and apply it to wherever it inspires.”
We are running a competition for a lucky dancer to be your assistant while you are in Australia. What do you look for in an assistant?
“I look for a strong work ethic. Someone dancers can relate to and look up to! Also, someone who exceeds my idea on what the movement could look like. I love when a dancer takes my choreography and applies themselves to it, making it unique!”
(For more information and how to apply to be Travis Wall’s assistant, visit www.danceinforma.com.au/vdf.)
You have had such an amazing career so far. What are you most proud of?
“I wouldn’t claim one credit or accomplishment. I’d have to say I’m most proud of my resilience. Turning the word ‘no’ into extreme possibilities. There are a lot of opportunities in life that one may get from an external source, but having to continue the self-drive every single day to make your dreams happen, that is where the work is.”
What projects are you currently working on?
“I’m currently working on a new Netflix series and So You Think You Can Dance season 15. I’ve been writing and developing a lot. Taking a different direction instead of moving my feet, trying to utilize my brain as much as possible as a creator without choreographing step-ball-change! Shaping Sound is going back on tour in fall 2019, with my twisted reimagined version of Nutcracker. I also really hope to tour Australia with Shaping Sound. I know all of us are dying to!”
What advice do you have for budding young dancers and choreographers?
“Constantly challenge yourself! When a new idea enters my head, I try to take the ceiling off of it and just let the idea grow and flourish in any direction it wants, because through this process, it may reveal its genius.”
Don’t miss this opportunity to dance with Travis Wall. For tickets to VDF Warrnambool with Travis Wall, Yvette Lee, Paul Malek, Nadia Tornese and Elysia Baker, visit www.victoriandancefestival.com. For tickets to Travis Wall Masterclasses Sydney, visit www.victoriandancefestival.com/sydney.
By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.