On the Couch with Natalie Weir

Natalie_Weir_Photo by Justin Nicholas oncWho is Natalie Weir?
I am the Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company. I have been a choreographer since I was only 18! I am married to an actor and have 3 sons.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I would not do anything differently. I always felt destined to have dance as part of my life. It has been such a passion since I was very young. I feel grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by the dancers who I work with at Expressions Dance Company. These dancers give their all. It was always my dream to have a group of dancers who understood my work, and wanted to work with me. Everyday they inspire me endlessly. They give life to my ideas and bring so much creativity to the rehearsal room. Sometimes I think they can read my mind!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would ensure all citizens had access to meaningful art experiences from an early age and, of course, abolish poverty through education and empowering women.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love anywhere near the water, the Noosa River, the Gold Coast Broadwater, the ocean. I was brought up in Townsville and my parents owned a beach hut at Saunders Beach, so I am always looking to give those same experiences to my boys and to share the relaxed lifestyle that I grew up with.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I would take them for a picnic up to nearby Mount Glorious and Mount Nebo or out to Cedar Creek in Samford. I am always up for a steak at the local pub.

What are you currently reading?
I have been reading some Tess Gerritsen books lately – I love all the crime books! People always expect me to be reading books about meaningful things and I surprise them with my choices! It’s a bit of escapism I think.

What are you currently listening to?
I am listening to a lot of music for string quartet at the moment as I finalise the music choices for my new work, The Host for Expressions Dance Company.

Happiness is?
Hard to define. A balanced life with time to think. Having a healthy family.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope that I am able to continue to choreograph for a very long time! It is very important to me.   I hope to find some time to caravan around Australia with my family.

Natalie Weir is an established and acclaimed choreographer, known internationally for her highly physical partner work, her organic movement style and her touching insight into human nature. She has created over 150 professional works in her 20+ year career. She was a founding member of Expressions Dance Company (EDC) and was offered her first choreographic commission by Maggi Sietsma at 18.

Natalie has worked extensively throughout Australia, creating many works for most of the country’s major classical and contemporary dance companies including the Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Dance North and Tasdance.

Natalie was appointed Artistic Director of EDC in January 2009, fulfilling her long-term dream to build an ensemble of dancers and contribute to the future of Australian Dance. In 2011, she curated SOLO – Festival of Dance, an inaugural season of solo works bringing national and international dancers and choreographers to Brisbane to perform in a festival setting. Her works with EDC include While Others Sleep with jazz group Misinterprotato, Carmen Sweet, Don’t, and her signature works where the heart isR&J and When Time Stops.

Natalie’s 2010 piece where the heart is won Best Performance by a Company at the 2011 Australian Dance Awards and Best Choreography and Best Ballet or Dance Work at the 2011 Helpmann Award, and has also been the recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship towards her development as an Artistic Director.

Natalie’s latest work for Expressions Dance Company will be the world premiere of The Host at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre from 1 May 2015. For more information, visit: www.expressionsdancecompany.org.au for details.

Image: Natalie Weir – photo by Justin Nicholas