NOW 2016 by Footnote New Zealand Dance presents new original work by kiwi choreographers. This year, NOW is choreographed by four women; Julia Harvie (Christchurch), Sarah Knox (Auckland), Lucy Marinkovich (Wellington) and Jessie McCall (Auckland). As Footnote New Zealand Dance gears up for their opening night of NOW 2016 in Auckland, I caught up with newest company member, Jared Hemopo.
How has joining Footnote changed life for you this year?
It’s been a big change for me, with a complete fresh start to the year - ie. moving cities, starting a new job, and living with extended family, so I'm starting to get used to the transition. I guess you could say it's changed a lot within the last 4 months since joining Footnote.
How did you come to the decision that contemporary dance was the career for you?
It took me a while to find out about the contemporary dance scene in New Zealand, and I was surprised to realize that you can make a living from it. It definitely wasn't a first choice career path because I didn't know it was even a possibility, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it.
What do you like most about your profession?
Everything from the dancing to sharing dances with audiences, sweating and working hard to achieve something. It's always a good feeling waking up each morning knowing that what you are doing is what you're meant to be doing.
If you could dance any role in any dance work, what would it be?
I would like to dance more of the movement I make as a choreographer and am interested in exploring this more and more. The role for that could be quite generic or undefined.
What’s your advice for an audience member seeing contemporary dance for the first time?
Just enjoy it. Don't worry so much if you don't understand it. I always find that searching for meaning always means less unless it finds you. Sounds corny but I like to think of it that way because that is true for me.
What’s the most challenging thing about being a male dancer in NZ?
Talking and explaining to people what I do for a living. It seems that being a dancer in general can sometimes be difficult for some people to understand. There's a lack of knowledge about it being an everyday 'job' type situation. Which relates back to my answer to the second question, because I get it – once, I didn't realize it was a 'job' either.
What’s one secret the public doesn’t know about contemporary dancers?
I've known a few dancers to have a quick nap while pretending to stretch.
Who are your heroes?
Michael Jackson, God.
What are your recommendations for NZ's best;
- place to get a coffee? I'm new to coffee so I haven't yet made a huge transition from instant. #pending upgrade.
- brilliant activity that costs nothing?
- place to buy a killer outfit? Empire, North Beach.