On the Couch with James Batchelor

James Batchelor Arts Review On the CouchWho is James Batchelor?
I am a 25-year-old choreographer and dancer. I grew up in Canberra and moved to Melbourne when I was 17 to study dance at the Victorian College of the Arts. Now I am traveling a lot and working everywhere! I’m curious about space, time and movement. I love to collect things. I love reading history and philosophy. I love good coffee. I love to explore.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I love being an artist and I wouldn’t change that. But I always wish I could take more time with everything I do. I would love to go into space one day, but am also terrified of the idea.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by people that invent, build and create. People that work in unconventional ways. People who explore. People that ask questions. People that shake the system. People that volunteer for a cause and help others.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make inspiring art that prompts a more present and conscious questioning of the world. I believe in the power of art to help us be more present, to physically connect with each other, challenge our assumptions and to imagine other possibilities.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’m definitely a city guy, so for holidays I love going camping and finding space again. This year I am going to be in Europe for a big chunk of time, exploring some places I haven’t been yet like Spain, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. I love how in Europe you can go such short distances and experience dramatic cultural shifts.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
When people visit me in Melbourne I like to take them to my favourite food and coffee places like Market Lane Coffee, Chin Chin, the Queen Vic Markets etc. The food is definitely one of the best things about Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
I’m always reading a few things at the same time… At the moment I am reading The Meaning of Science and The Universe in Your Hand.

What are you currently listening to?
Floating Points.

Happiness is?
Happiness for me is finding balance, lightness, seeing the sun, traveling, being surprised and spending time with people I love.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m very ambitious so I often think about the future and my next projects. After performing in Dance Massive I will be in Europe traveling and doing residencies before developing a new work for Chunky Move later in the year. One of my dreams is to do a project with NASA. My main hope is that I can continue to take risk and grow in unexpected ways.

An intimate performance combining dance, sound and installation, James’ latest work is Deepspace presented at the Meat Market as part of the 2017 Dance Massive Festival on Monday 20 March. For more information, visit: www.dancemassive.com.au for details.

Image: James Batchelor