Blake John Wood is one of Australia’s newest creative visionaries to hit the entertainment scene. With access to the country’s hottest dancers, Wood fuses striking choreography and slick movement with high fashion to deliver a unique experience. Wood’s impressive credits include MTV Australia and New Zealand, Disney Channel, Fitness First, Channel 7, Hynudai The Morning Show, Marquee Nightclub, Havana Brown, Luciana Caporaso, Girlfriend Magazine, ING Bank, Deborah Cox, Paulini Curuenavuli, Courtney Act, Rhonda Burchmore, Marcia Hines and fashion labels Premonition Designs and Runaway the Label.
Wood is highly sort-after, especially in Sydney, but this past week it was announced that he will be travelling to Melbourne in the new year to join the faculty of VDF for the April 2019 festival.
Can you describe your style? Why do you think your work is so highly sought-after?
“The foundations of my style are commercial, intricate and fast-paced. I don’t choreograph on or for myself; I produce choreography for my target audience or the dancers performing the steps. My style of movement reads well to the eye because it is very clean, and the music I select is generally quite current and easy to connect with. In saying this, I am always trying to exercise my creativity while experimenting further and constantly evolving.”
What are you most looking forward to at VDF?
“I am so fortunate to travel all over the country with my teaching work, but Melbourne is the one city I haven’t been able to visit as much as I’d like to. I am super excited about being given the opportunity to teach at VDF next year, and I am most looking forward to finally connecting and sharing with the talented dancers in Melbourne!”
What can dancers expect from your classes at VDF?
“The dancers can expect the class to be high energy and fast-paced!”
In 2019, VDF will have a pro-level stream for professionals and full time students. How can attending such classes benefit high level dancers?
“As opposed to having to cater for a range of age groups, the pro-level stream will be an advanced class – similar in comparison to how I would teach in a rehearsal room situation.”
What’s your favourite thing about teaching in a festival environment?
“There is an essence of community at dance festivals and conventions, as students from all over are united and brought together by a mutual love for dance, which we can all share in a safe and fun environment.”
What new projects are you working on?
“This month, I finally launched a project initiative of my own that I am very passionate about. ‘The 411 Project’ is a brand new, innovative commercial dance intensive generated by myself, alongside Shivawn Joubert, Paris Cavanagh and Ashleigh Tavares. The intensive is inclusive of commercial dance workshops, an industry discussion and styling session encompassing a variety of topics including (but not limited to) goal setting, embracing individuality and styling methods/formula. The event is targeted at the next generation of commercial artists (ages 14+) and has been attentively designed to create a safe space for us to share our knowledge and philosophy on the commercial front.“
For information on VDF 2019, to be held 12 – 14 April 2019, visit www.victoriandancefestival.com.
By Jessie Krieg and Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.