On the Couch with Gareth Belling

Gareth Belling Arts Review On the CouchWho is Gareth Belling?
Primarily a choreographer, fuelled by coffee, making new ballet that mixes a love of tradition and technique, with a current view of the world, art and gender politics.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d take my dog for more walks on the beach. I’d stop and take a breath more often. I’d speak my mind more loudly and more passionately.

Who inspires you and why?
My partner Ben. He’s always got a new way of looking at everything. He’s creative and generous. He takes my ideas and makes them better, and he thanks me when I do the same for him. We work well together.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
In my work, I try to give chances for the people I work with to speak their own truths. I am passionate about equity, and ending marginalisation, particularly based on gender, sexuality and race. I’m definitely a keyboard warrior, but bring that into the real world by making simple changes in my life and work to be inclusive, empathetic and environmentally sustainable.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
India was an incredible experience that sticks with me years later. Five cities in four weeks pushed me to the very edges of every emotion – mostly at exactly the same time. For very different reasons, Melbourne is also a favourite – to catch up with life-long friends.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If it was a Sunday, we’d head straight to the Redcliffe Markets for breakfast and fresh fruit and veg. Looking further afield, we’d head across the bay to Stradbroke Island, which is glorious in any weather. And at the end of the day we’d head down to Woody Point for one of the best sunsets in the world according to Lonely Planet.

What are you currently reading?
Production schedules and social media analytics mostly. The last books were The Girl on a Train which was totally gripping, and Gay Masculinities for choreographic research.

What are you currently listening to?
A regular playlist spanning movie soundtracks to contemporary chamber music and everything in-between. Beyonce, Prince and ABBA are getting a good workout in ballet class as well, for a bit of a change-up.

Happiness is?
A bright sunny day by Moreton Bay, walking down the hill to Margate Beach with my partner and our dog Joshey.

What does the future hold for you?
More and more ballet I hope: making, watching, teaching and dancing! Love, coffee and a couple of sunny days by the bay would complete the picture.

An electric fusion of dance, live chamber music and projected animation, Gareth appears in Collusion’s Desirelines at the Hawthorn Arts Centre on 26 & 27 July 2017. For more information, visit: www.hawthornartscentre.com.au for details.

Image: Gareth Belling (supplied)