On the Couch with Michelle Ryan

Michelle-Ryan-photo-by-Shane-ReidWho is Michelle Ryan?
I am the Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre and recently celebrated my 50th birthday with a surprise flash mob by the company dancers and staff. They were brilliant.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Perhaps trying to have a better work/life balance which would definitely include more pilates.

Who inspires you and why?
My beautiful mum and dad who both taught me that everyone should be treated with respect and kindness no matter their age, sex, status or influence.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I am very lucky to work at Restless with dancers with and without disability. We strive to give disabled artists paid career pathways. Hopefully this is making a difference to how people with disability are perceived.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Seoul. The company toured to Seoul in 2019 and we all fell in love with the food, the people and the culture. Fingers crossed we can go back soon.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why? 
The Art Gallery of South Australia would be top of the list. It is a beautiful gallery with fabulous exhibitions (including Tarnanthi). You can always enjoy a coffee or glass of bubbles after looking at great art. The Central Markets would be a close second for pasta at Lucias.

What are you currently reading?
Over the past year I have been obsessed with reading online news to try and make sense of the world.

What are you currently listening to?
I am currently listening to the work of the fabulous sound designer/composer Jason Sweeney. We first worked together on Intimate Space and now for Guttered (Adelaide Festival 2021). He is creative, thoughtful, an absolute gem and his sound scores are amazing.

Happiness is?
Being creative in the studio with artists who are passionate, professional and unique.

What does the future hold for you?
Restless has lots of exciting plans but unfortunately there will be a lot of grant writing as the company is in a precarious situation due to drastic cuts to federal arts funding.

Michelle is the director of Restless Dance Theatre’s production of Guttered – which will make its world premiere at Kingpin Norwood as part of the 2021 Adelaide Festival: 26 February – 14 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au or www.restlessdance.org for details.

Image: Michelle Ryan – photo by Shane Reid