On the Couch with Ian Knowles

Ian-Knowles-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Ian Knowles?
I will always identify as a dancer, even though I am no longer kicking a leg and spinning around. It is who I am at my core. I am a devoted father, loyal friend, dance advocate, and grateful cancer survivor.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Everything I have done to date has led me to this point right now, and it feels right. I have transitioned through many phases of my career; from performer, to choreographer, to educator, to artistic director, to now co-founder of a digital dance media company. All of this has given me the opportunity to help lift up and support dancers working in film, provide another pathway for dance, and help to build the next generation of dance filmmakers. The short answer – I am where I am supposed to be.

Who inspires you and why?
How do you even narrow that down? I have and continue to admire so many of my colleagues and contemporaries who are relentless in the pursuit of their goals, and do so with style, grace and open hearts. This is what I aspire to be.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I am passionate about mental health in the arts and supporting dancers through the challenges of transitioning throughout their career. The mark I want to leave is a program, framework, and safety net that is designed to not only catch our elite performers as they fall into the unknown during those transitional phases but upskill them in anticipation that careers will inevitably change and grow.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My favourite spot to date has to be Mykonos. There is so much of the world I have yet to explore but I have definitely had the best time of my life so far in Greece.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Circular Quay, the Harbour Bridge, Observatory Hill and the Botanic Gardens are still my favourite places. When I moved from Perth I was in absolute awe of Sydney’s sparkling Harbour.

What are you currently reading?
Ok – is it bad to say that I don’t read, at least not for pleasure. Give me a film any day!!

What are you currently listening to?
Pink! is my all-time-fave, but I am a super fan of pop music – old and new!

Happiness is?
A lazy day with my son on the couch or dinner with my mates. These are the people that keep me going and make it all worth it!

What does the future hold for you?
That has to be the hardest question in this list. I have a terminal brain cancer diagnosis, so it has taken me a while to even imagine a future. I am 9 years past an 18-month prognosis, so I am happy to just keep defying the odds and have more time to see my son grow. Outside of that, building the Inspired Dance Film Festival into the international destination for dance on film, and becoming the world leader in the creation and presentation of digital dance media. That’s not too much right?

Ian is the Co-founder (with Rohan Seinor) of the Inspired Dance Film Festival – which runs online: 19 – 30 October, and at the Thomas Dixon Centre, Brisbane: 19 – 22 October 2022. For more information and full program, visit: www.inspireddance.com.au for details.

Image: Ian Knowles (supplied)