Music lights the way
WA Ballet dancer Christopher Hill did not get much of a break over the festive season.
Not only did the demi-soloist move house but he also worked on composing the music for his choreographic piece The Clearest Light, featuring in Ballet at the Quarry in February.
The 35-year-old has danced at WA Ballet for two and a half years and said he had always loved dance and music, starting at his mum’s dance school in Melbourne when he was three.
“I was lucky enough in my family that when we were young, we were given the chance to do whatever we wanted: sport, dance, anything like that,” Hill said.
“I had to make a choice when I was a teenager because I was doing three things: swimming, piano and dancing. They were all competing for time so it was either swimming at 5am or dancing until 10pm with school in the middle, so I let swimming and music go to concentrate on dance.
“But music has always been a big passion of mine and in my mid 20s I bought a computer and started composing digitally with synthesisers and drum machines.
“Over the past 10 years, I’ve just been teaching myself composition and I find electronic music fused with dance and classical dance super-interesting. “There will be an orchestral element to it but there will be some very edgy electronic music as well.”
The Clearest Light has been developed from two pieces Hill choreographed for the 2016 Genesis season performed at WA Ballet’s studio.
Hill said the narrative had developed into a love story and the 25minute work had seven dancers: four men and three women.
“The most interesting thing for me is being surrounded by all these amazing dancers with their amazing technical ability,” he said.
“I’m trying to show them off as best as I can and give them interesting things to dance.”
Hill, who began his career with the Australian Ballet and has danced in London, Norway and Belgium, said he had always wanted to choreograph but decided he would only do so when he could write his own music for it.
“I’ve only been choreographing for three years when those two things came together,” he said.
“I’ve had the chance to work with some really amazing choreographers, which has been a huge inspiration.
“I get to take the best bits of what I learnt for them and whip it up into my own style and go forward, hopefully creating something new and interesting that moves the audience.”