By Will Brown
This weekend dancers from the Royal New Zealand Ballet will be performing selected excerpts at Pick & Mix; taking place at the ASB Theatre in Auckland City on Saturday and the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna on Sunday (full details below).
I had a chance to fire a few questions through to Georgia Powley, one of the talented dancers who will be displaying her skills at Pick & Mix.
How did you first get into dancing?
I started dancing when I was four after watching my older sister take class.
Who were your early influences?
Jackie Hallahan was the director of my dance school in Canberra. She guided and supported me through my early years of training. Paul Knobloch was a huge inspiration to me as he trained at the same dance school in Canberra and went on to dance with many major ballet companies around the world. I had the opportunity to work with him for a couple of years before moving to New Zealand.
What influenced you to leave Canberra and join the Royal New Zealand Ballet?
In 2014 I moved to Wellington when I was accepted in the New Zealand School of Dance. I was lucky enough to be awarded the Todd Scholarship to join the Royal New Zealand Ballet this year.
How was your time at Canada National Ballet School?
My time at the school was truly unforgettable. It was a four week programme where we took class with the CNBS pre-professional students which was so inspiring. I learnt so much from the incredible staff. It's a really encouraging and positive environment to train in so I was very grateful for the opportunity.
What do you find most challenging aspect of dancing?
Dance is very physically demanding. We are physically active all day so it's challenging to have the energy and strength to last for long hours. However it's also just as mentally challenging. We have to be focused 100% of the time as we are continually learning new choreography and applying corrections. There are lots of things to think about.
You recently danced in The Wizard of Oz. How was that experience?
I really enjoyed being a part of this production. As a first year with the company it was an amazing experience to be part of the process of creating the production. It was really great working with the amazing dancers and staff of the company and watch the ballet transform.
You're performing at Pick and Mix this weekend. What will you be displaying?
I will be performing two solos, both from the ‘Kingdom of Porcelain’ scene from The Wizard of Oz. One is the Princess of Porcelain and the second is the Teacup Variation which was originally danced by four in the production but has been modified for this occasion.
What other performances and plans do you have for the rest of 2016?
We are currently rehearsing Giselle which is soon to open in Wellington on 11 August and will be in Auckland from 31 August – 3 September. We tour around New Zealand with this production. We perform Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Hong Kong later in the year. Two very amazing productions to be a part of!
Georgia Powley performs with the Royal NZ Ballet for PICK & MIX a series of FREE performances and workshops this weekend Saturday 23 July, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre & Sunday 24 July, Bruce Mason Centre. Performances 10.30am and Workshops 11.30am each session. For more information head to aucklandlive.co.nz