On the Couch with Lewis Major

Lewis-Major-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Lewis Major?
Lewis Major is a Ngarrindjeri and Bungandidj former sheep farmer trying to make good in the wide world of that much maligned and misunderstood artform: contemporary dance.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Spend way more time at home with my daughter, take better care of my broken body, delegate more and buy more Bitcoin.

Who inspires you and why?
My wife: she puts up with my crap and is the best mother in the world.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Listen more to people, try to understand what’s keeping them up at night and use what little influence I have in the world to help alleviate suffering wherever I can.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Before I had people actually relying on me staying alive, I made a pact with myself to spend at least two weeks of the year in a country with too much government, or too little – I still think I’m the only choreographer on the planet who’s visited all three axis-of-evil countries. This pact certainly kept my art more connected to the real world. I’ll go back to Iran whenever I next get a break but until then, give me a view of the Australian landscape, my family close by and a decent bottle of Coonawarra Cab Sauv and I’ll be the happiest guy on the planet.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
It’s very dependent on who’s coming over but assuming they’re of age and inclination, we’re heading at some point to the National Wine Centre for tasting flights of the best red wine in the country, a bit of choice restaurant hopping in the afternoon and then heading bush for the remainder. All folk should be spending more time going walkabout in the Australian scrub.

What are you currently reading?
The New Human Revolution by Daisaku Ikeda, Race and Culture by Thomas Sowell, constant financial reports and business plans, and some mates and I are ploughing through a chapter a week of The Lord of the Rings. At this rate we’re hoping to be done by the middle of the decade.

What are you currently listening to?
This year I made a commitment to not listen to as many political podcasts and my mental health has certainly improved, so definitely not that. Lots of Sibelius, Boccherini and Platti for down time, some sort of philosophy audiobook for when I’m doing the dishes and hard rock playlists as motivation during the drive to the dance studio.

Happiness is?
My daughter: safe, happy and content.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m hopeful that all of our international engagements that were put on hold due to COVID will get to happen this year and that I’ll somehow manage to set up a functioning, funded dance company so I can provide a bit of stability to my incredible dancers and collaborators.

Lewis is the Director/Choreographer of the double bill, Unfolding and S/WORDS – which makes its premiere at the 2021 Adelaide Festival: 11 – 14 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au for details.

In addition, his drive-in dance performance with live rock band, Traffic is on a regional tour of South Australia over the next couple of months. Satori is opening at Adelaide Festival Centre in April, new solo work Ophelia in June and restaging of Murmur with Aakash Odedra and Ars Electronica Futurelab in the second half of the year.

He is also currently planning for his recently awarded Churchill Fellowship to study entrepreneurialism and sustainability in arts organisations overseas.

Image: Lewis Major (supplied)