UNDER THE BAR(RE) - Emily Seymour

Intro and interview by Matthew O' Brien | Photos by Yeah Rad.

We're taking a grande jeté beyond our traditional Under The Bar series to step into the extraordinary world of Sydney Dance Company. You wouldn’t think that beer and contemporary dance pair together too well, but we’re all about re-writing the rules.

Emily shares the unparalleled joy of connecting with audiences worldwide, the comedic mishaps that happen behind the scenes, and the inspiring journey that led her to dance's elite echelons. From her early beginnings, following in the footsteps of her sisters, to the vibrant and challenging life of a Sydney Dance Company dancer, Emily's story is one of relentless dedication, artistic fervor, and a dream that spans continents.

We caught up with Emily before her rehearsal for their international tour and talked about mishaps, missed luggages and the cultural shifts in the arts and dancing world.

M | What do you like most about dancing with Sydney Dance Company?

E | One of the greatest joys of dancing with Sydney Dance Company is the opportunity to perform and connect with audiences both at home and abroad. It's truly one of the most rewarding aspects of my career journey so far. Having the chance to travel and experience different cultures while pursuing my passion every day is incomparable!

M | Q: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard while dancing here?

E | Gosh, this is a tough question. We are on the road for most of the year so there are many stories that pop up, both on and off stage. There’s been missed alarms on travel days, lost baggage whilst on tour, mishaps in the shows, someone mistakenly performing to the back instead of the front, music stopping mid performance, just to name a few. There’s never a dull moment behind the scenes on tour.

M | Can you tell us a bit about what influenced your journey as a dancer?

E | I grew up following in the footsteps of my two older sisters, Lauren, and Hannah Seymour, who continue to inspire me greatly. At the age of 15, I made the decision to focus more on my ballet career, which led me to join Houston Ballet's Second Company, HBII in 2013. I've always been super motivated and driven as an artist, so making that move at such a young age was a huge turning point for me and my dance journey. Fast forward five years, returning home to Sydney and joining Sydney Dance Company in 2018 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

M | Is there something you wish was more normal in the dancing world?

E | I often find myself wishing for a cultural shift where the arts and the dancing world are more widely appreciated and supported, particularly here in Australia. It would be fantastic to see a greater acknowledgment of the talent and hard work within our community. Additionally, I believe it's crucial for us to prioritise recovery, especially for artists of such high calibre. Taking care of our physical and mental well-being allows us to continue pushing boundaries and delivering exceptional performances.

M | Describe the Sydney Dance Company in three words.

E | Athletic, hardworking, unstoppable.

M | What does a normal day as a Sydney Dance Company dancer look like for you?

E | As a company dancer, our day typically begins at 9:30 a.m. with a warm-up class, followed by rehearsals from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and then again from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Throughout the day, we have two 15-minute breaks, one in the morning and one during the afternoon session, as well as a one-hour lunch break. After we finish for the day, it's time to head home, refuel, and prepare to do it all over again the next day. If we’re on tour, our days are incredibly varied – with lots of planes, trains and automobiles, exploring new cities by day and performing for audiences by night. The best part of touring is the incredible feeling of pride sharing the very best of Australian contemporary dance with the world.

M | Tell us what’s next for you, the Sydney Dance Company and how people can get involved.

E | We are currently at the beginning of a 7 week International tour travelling to Barcelona, London, Belgrade, Portland USA, New York City, and Washington DC. We will be back on home soil at the beginning on May and have a new work momenta by Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela, premiering in Sydney at the Roslyn Packer theatre on 28 May.

For more information about Sydney Dance Company and their tours, head to:

https://www.sydneydancecompany.com/

@SydneyDanceCo

@EmilyBethSeymour

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