Nicola wearing: Jamie Linen Tee
Where did your love for dance start?
I was too young to really remember honestly. I know at age 7 my Mum put me in Ballet class. Apparently, I would use the oven rail as my Ballet barre since I was 4, so she probably needed me out of the kitchen more than anything else. I have no idea where I picked up the desire to move from but it never really passed.
What made you move to America from Melbourne?
Making to shift somewhere bigger felt like a natural progression. I’m a kiwi so I initially made my move to Melbourne from New Zealand when I was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Bachelor of Dance program. I loved my 3 years there but always had a yearning to be somewhere overwhelmingly big. Once I had graduated from VCA I moved to New York and entered the States on the J1 Graduate visa.
Where are your favourite places to travel?
I spent two months working in India when I was 19 and that was a huge perspective shift. It’s a culture and country that has so much disparity in every sense of the word, which affected me deeply at a critical stage of young adulthood. The American Southwest is very dear to my heart. It’s fictionally picturesque, and the colours of the landscape are so gratifying.
What do you love about Australia?
I love the way the land is still so vast and unpopulated in many parts. Australians are a hilariously funny bunch to be around and they also have great coffee and food like their Kiwi cousins, so it’s like a bigger version of home in many ways. More sharks at the beaches though!
Describe your typical day
It’s dependent if I’m booked or not. If I’m booked I get to set early so I can hang out at the crafty table because...free food. But generally, I wake up, make coffee, porridge or eggs. I do emails, read, take a class, hash out film ideas, paint, and hustle work. No two days are the same.
What is your all-time favourite piece of clothing?
My silver leather Justin roper boots. I found them for $24 in my favourite vintage store in Lawrence, Kansas. They were the perfect amount of worn-in, comfortable as slippers and SILVER. So...y’know they will never be topped.
What do you never leave the house without?
A good book! Anything by Steinbeck usually, but I’m currently reading Half Earth by Edward O. Wilson.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Pina Bausch and Wassily Kandinsky. Pina was such a force of nature in her choreography, performance and the time period her work emerged over. I recently saw ‘Café Müller’ and ‘The Rite of Spring’ at BAM in Brooklyn before I left New York, and it was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever watched. Pina’s work is clever, passionate and intelligent. Yet it’s it’s still palpable...so what more can one really strive for?
Kandinsky has always been a favorite artist of mine. Ever since I saw his four analytical drawings, called ‘Dance Curves: On the dances of Palucca’, 1926. They were based on photographs of dancer Gret Palucca by Charlotte Rudolph during the Bauhaus movement in Germany. They illustrated how closely the dancer’s style coincided with the Bauhaus aesthetic. It’s so wondrous to see a rich history of the overlap in artistic mediums. It sometimes feels as though contemporary dance is left out of the contemporary art world, being considered more as entertainment. Finding works like Kandinsky’s and Robert Rauschenberg’s ongoing working relationship with Merce Cunningham in the 50s-70s are great examples of dance as a medium in itself.
Where to next?
I’m fresh to LA now so I’m hoping to be here a while. That’s always slightly dependent on them issuing the next visa haha but provided that happens I’ll be in the West - where the light makes everything looks like it’s drenched in honey, and the dry earth begs to be danced on.
Follow Nicola: @niccollie