Sacha Co­p­land

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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