I’ll have a Caesar

Began work this week with the Victorian Opera on their new production of Julius Caesar. Directed by Steven Heathcote, and conducted by Richard Gill, this production is going to be absolutely stunning.

8 singers, 4 dancers, and one extremely tall set are going to fill the stage of the recital centre in just a few weeks time.

Rehearsals are intense. The task of putting together a 3.5 hour show in 28 days is a challenging one, but we’re already full steam ahead.

Not On My Watch

First things first.

For the last few years I’ve been choreographing a range of solos for myself. Some have been performed while others have been developed, but are still ‘waiting in the wings’ so to speak.

Now that I’ve become an independent artist, one of the major things I want to do is create a one-man show for myself.

The show will be called Not On My Watch and will incorporate all the solos I’ve choreographed for myself, along with new material, some old scripts, some re-worked scenes and favourite characters that I’ve been plodding away with since I left high school in 2005.

Not On My Watch is an exciting project that will occupy my spare time (if any!) and hopefully make it’s way to the stage in it’s fully realised incarnation soon.

Welcome!

HELLO!

Welcome to my brand new website, designed by the amazing team at Bouncing Orange.

This website has gone live at a very important time. I’ve recently finished with West Australian Ballet and am now embarking on the exciting, but somewhat uncertain journey as an independent artist.

At only 22 years old, this is my first chance since leaving the comforting institution of WAAPA and the secure company life of WA Ballet, to spread my wings, try some new things and dive head-first into the exhilarating world of dance and theatre.

This blog is your VIP ticket into my head and all the experiences I come across.

Who knows where this will take me?

Wish me luck!

Infinite Space

Starting this week, I’ll be dancing in the beautiful Chapel Off Chapel space for Melbourne Ballet Company’s Infinite Space season.

Featuring four works from choreographers Simon Hoy and Robert Kelly, Infinite Space is sure to be a lovely evening out.

Performed by dancers from Canada, Japan, France, Netherlands and of course, Australia, this is Project Seven of Melbourne Ballet Company’s three-year existence.

Not On My Watch photoshoot

Had a great shoot with Angelo Di-Benedetto recently to try and capture some images for my one-man show Not On My Watch.

I hadn’t met Angelo before, but he made me feel relaxed and comfortable, and the shoot went incredibly well with some brilliant pictures to show for it!

Hair and make-up was done by the incredible Natalie Way.

More pictures from this shoot can be found in the gallery.

Sarah Eley photoshoot

I caught up with my good friend Sarah Eley recently to have some new dance photos taken. I’d never worked with Sarah before, but I had heard that she was a great photographer.

Shot in the beautiful Kane Jarrod photography studios in Melbourne, Sarah and I had a great time – and it shows in the photos.

See more images from this shoot in the gallery.

DanceTrain

Don’t forget to check out my latest article in the May/June issue of DanceTrain Magazine.
I’ve been writing for DanceTrain for a little over a year now, keeping Australia up-to-date with interesting people, events and projects.

This time I had a chat with the ever-amazing Jennifer Loth, who runs the education program (among other things!) at West Australian Ballet.

10.

“Excruciatingly accurate and hysterically funny…audience members were literally weeping with laughter.”
- australianstage.com.au

“Incredibly funny, intelligent, charming and amazing… Simons instinctively understands timing, surprise, and humour – he is a kind of magician!”
- Anna Volkland, ada-studio.de

(Joseph’s) choreography snaps you back to attention…clever and comical’
- Drum Media Magazine

“The delivery was flawless, and proved to be a crowd favourite.”
- The West Australian

Nightlight

2014

Created with Know Studio, this short film was created in a beautiful little Melbourne alleyway with completely undesigned lighting.

First Things First

Work In Progress showing – Berlin, Aug 2013

Created with the support of the Tanja Liedtke Foundation, First Things First is about first experiences, and the transition between the unfamiliar to the familiar. This footage was taken at the work-in-progress showing in Berlin, Germany.


On A Leash

2013

This collaboration with the always-amazing students Dubbo Ballet Studio was designed as an extension of an idea originally workshopped with Emma Sandall, Dog and Bird. (See further down this page for a video of that development) As well as working with the concept of dogs on leashes, I was also keen to play with the geometry of the stage space itself.

Guts

Official music video – Elisha Bones

My collaboration with Elisha Bones choreographing and performing in their music video for their new single Guts was shot in London. With lighting and cinematography by Konstantin Kochkin, and of course incredible music by Australian band Elisha Bones, this ‘short film’ music video was released with the album in July 2013.

TOURIST

Short Dance Film – 2013

Collaborating with Quindell Orton is one of my favourite past-times, so when the opportunity to meet up in London showed itself, we both jumped at the chance to make this short film. Inspired by Instagram, the film explores the phenomenon of tourists visiting famous landmarks, simply to take a photo to prove they were there.

It’s Awesome ‘Cos It’s Backwards

Studio Dance Film – 2013

This choreography was created specifically to be filmed and reversed. It was created as a study of backwards movement. Yep that’s about it. But it’s awesome…

Dog And Bird

Work-in-development 2013

Inspired by the idea of humans ‘owning’ animals, and caging wild creatures, this fun little scene is the beginning of a new work, currently with the working title of Dog and Bird. Mixing some existing choreography of mine to some new moves, this duo is great fun.

Elegant People

2012

Created for Dubbo Ballet Studio, Elegant People is a charming tale of a group of sweet young men and women…who each just want the stage to themselves.

This piece was the winner of the open age contemporary dance section at the Sydney Eisteddfod in 2012, and was invited to be performed at the Sydney Opera House as the finale for the Ballet Scholarship finals.

Costume design: Anna Bloomfield and Lyndal Dess

Not On My Watch

2012

Not On My Watch had its world Premiere in February 2012 at the Perth Fringe Festival.

Joseph Simons is a young man with a dream. Its one of those dreams where you wake up gasping for air, then remember where you are, roll your eyes and go back to sleep.

Enter the bizarre, absurd world of Joseph’s brain.

Strap yourself in, it’s gonna get silly.

Peacock

2011

Fierce. Intense. Beautiful.

An exploration of animal and human attractiveness.

Jet Set

2012

Created for Dubbo Ballet Studio, and inspired by Catch Me If You Can the musical, Jet Set is a feel good entertaining piece designed to get your toes tapping.

Costume design: Anna Bloomfield and Lyndal Dess

Please Hold

2010

I first wrote the script for Please Hold in 2004 in high-school. I then made it a dance piece in 2007, where I spoke the dialogue live and danced between each paragraph. But this became tricky as the piece went on and found it hard to catch my breath while still talking! So this re-developed version includes my dialogue as a voice over, and the choreography has been fleshed out.

As the calm voice reminds you, “This call is important to us…though probably not as important as it is to you.”
Trying to navigate through the frustrating maze of telephone voice-activated response systems is a waiting game many of us would rather not play.

Don’t

2011

Don’t hang-glide over the volcano.

Don’t pretend to be a doctor.

Don’t put your nephew in the microwave.

So many rules inform our lives…and they’re sucking the fun out of it.

Don’t was created for the extremely talented students of Dubbo Ballet Studio, and has been performed all over New South Wales.

Costume design: Anna Bloomfield and Lyndal Dess

Up The Wall

2010

Up The Wall was created as a tounge-in-cheek duo for one male and one female dancer.

Presented partly as a cheesy infomercial, and partly as a cheery children’s television show, Up The Wall sees its two performers instruct the audience on how to view contemporary dance and guide them through “what it takes to be a good audience member”.

No video available

A Few Moments Of Your Time

2009

Inspired by a letter to the editor complaining about salespeople who insult their customers, A Few Moments Of Your Time is a cheeky look at the precarious balance between offending someone and wanting them to like you at the same time.

Invade…Interrogate…Annoy…And don’t forget to smile!

Self Destruct

2009

This script was something I wrote on a plane while sitting in the emergency seat. I had just received the “Are you willing and able to help in the case of emergency…and you’ve read all your extra instructions?” speech. To which I simply nodded and said “Yes.” During the flight I thought to myself ‘Gee, I hope we don’t have an emergency, because I have no idea what I’m supposed to do!’

A cheerful flight attendant delivers impossible instructions that you are expected to be familiar with. Don’t understand? Well, it’s your own fault.

A Beat Behind

2011

A Beat Behind is pure jazzercise silliness performed within an inch of its life by Dubbo Ballet Studio. Inspired by the wonderful music of The Goodbye Girl, written by Marvin Hamlisch, and with hysterical lyrics by David Zippel.

Mix and Match

2008

This work was created using eight fantastic dancers from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). The energy they brought to each rehearsal and performance made this process such a delightful experience. And they were so willing to poke a little fun at themselves.

Dating. It’s what single people do. They try people on and see how they fit.

*This video is a 1.5 minute trailer. The full work runs for approximately 14 minutes.

WORKS

|Bedroom Dancing|2006|
|Please Hold|2007|
|Widow|2007|
|I Can’t Wait|2007|
|Getting Through|2007|
|Mix and Match|2008|
|Self Destruct|2009|
|A Few Moments Of Your Time|2009|
|Man Alive|2009|
|Please Hold (re-developed)|2010|
|Up The Wall|2010|
|A Beat Behind|2011|
|Don’t|2011|
|Peacock|2011|
|Not On My Watch|2012|
|Jet Set|2012|
|Elegant People|2012|
|Transylvania Mania|2013|
|On A Leash|2013|
|Guts|2013|
|First Things First|(2013)|
|Hollywood Hills|2013|
|Familiar Strangers|2014|