Dance isn’t just for adults, and to emphasise that point leading choreographer Sacha Copland has created Dirt And Other Delicious Ingredients. After successful seasons around New Zealand, and internationally, it lands in Auckland for the first time. ‘‘I love creating physical tactile worlds for the dancers and audience to play in,’’ says Copland. ‘‘Everything that we consume and create comes from ingredients found in the earth.’’ Interviewed by Mike Alexander. Swimming in the ocean in the middle of nowhere with the love of my life or anything that involves free-falling.
Which living person do you most admire?
Gcina Mhlope (storyteller). I saw her speak in South Africa and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was like being wrapped in sunshine and rhythm.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
There have been a few. Fifteen years of performances definitely bring about a moment or two. We tour our dance show on a moving bus (Back of the Bus) a lot, but once we actually lost our audience. The audience follow the dancer off the bus but in Edinburgh somehow half of them split off in Just space. When I started Java Dance Theatre I used to fantasise about going into buildings with nice wooden floors and just setting up camp and dancing and refusing to leave. Maybe one day I will.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
There’s no way I’d ever be a foot model. Sometimes, like when I’m loading wine barrels into the Java van for rehearsal, I wish I was twice as big and strong. Random passersby will often see me and help because I know I look a little comic, kind of like the barrel is carrying me.
If you could time travel, where would you go, and why?
Ancient Greece, to the cradle of civilisation in Africa, to the moment when wine was first discovered, to the fertile crescent when it was still fertile, to the moment when tango was created in Argentina, to Jackson Pollock’s studio, to Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. I am fascinated by all the moments that have led to this one.
What life lesson would you pass on to your children?
Be courageous, take risks and let yourself be massive.
What job would you do other than your own, and why?
Secretly, I would love to be a florist at one of those shops that is full to the brim with greenery, brambles and flowers. The smell alone would be divine. We use lots of vines and greenery in the Wine Project and the rest of the cast always laugh at me when I go into ‘‘florist’’ mode and start strewing leaves and spice everywhere. It’s my happy place.
If you were given three wishes by a magic genie, what would they be?
All nuclear weapons would disappear without a trace. People would dance on the streets every time they felt joy. Wellington would get some sunshine! (I know that’s a long shot.)
Dirt and Other Delicious Ingredients, Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland, October 11-14, part of Tempo Dance Festival and Auckland Live Kids Play.