On the Couch with Martin del Amo

Martin del Amo AAR On the CouchWho is Martin del Amo?
I’m a choreographer and dancer based in Sydney. I’m originally from Germany but have been calling Australia home for nearly 20 years. For a long time, I mainly worked as a solo artist. These days, I prefer creating solos and group works for others. I love collaborating with dancers and artists from other artforms.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d like to be a documentary filmmaker. The idea of being able to tell other people’s stories and draw attention to important social issues through the medium of film greatly appeals to me.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by innovators and visionaries. No matter in what field but especially also in the arts. I admire people who have the guts to effect change, often against the resistance from others and to their own personal detriment.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I guess the jury is still out on to what extent you can make a difference in the world as an artist. In my own small way, though, I’d like to keep creating works that play with people’s expectations of what dance is, shifting their perception about what contemporary dance artists have to offer to audiences. I’d also like to be known as someone who promotes tolerance, respect and personal integrity.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Rio de Janeiro. I’ve been there once for work, and I’ve always felt I didn’t get to explore this exciting, strangely contradictory city as fully as I would have liked to.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d spend a day with them in Newtown, where I live. We’d go to all my favourite hangouts. We’d have breakfast or lunch at Rising Sun, a spacious Asian Fusion café with a communal Motorcycle workshop attached. We’d spend the afternoon at Camperdown Cemetery – a slightly Gothic yet very leisurely and serene experience. And we’d have dinner at Shinmachi, a Japanese tapas bar where you order on iPads.

What are you currently reading?
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver. I love Carver’s short stories and revisit them every few years. I find his ability to condense seemingly mundane events into compelling and powerful experiences for his readers endlessly fascinating.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve recently rediscovered The Beatles, which, I think, was triggered by my watching of A Hard Day’s Night and Yellow Submarine on DVD for the first time. My favourite Beatles albums are Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band and The White Album. I could listen to them forever.

Happiness is?
Worth pursuing.

What does the future hold for you?
Between August and October, I’m going to direct a student production at the University of Wollongong. Straight after that, I will be collaborating with two of my favourite dancers – Kristina Chan and Miranda Wheen – on a research project at Critical Path. We’ll be exploring the choreographic potential of the trio form.

Martin in association with Anton will premiere Arena as part of the PACT Generations program at the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists from 10 July 2019. For more information, visit: www.pact.net.au for details.

Image: Martin del Amo (supplied)