Dancer Insight – Amy Hollingsworth

Dancers who shaped me.

Amy Hollingsworth

Amy Hollingsworth is an award-winning dancer, director, choreographer and mentor and was appointed Artistic Director of Australasian Dance Collective in January 2019. Her international performance and creative career spans large-scale classical ballet to independent contemporary dance, film and pop music to leadership and directorial positions.

Here are her inspirations and mentors that have guided her along the way.

Rafael Bonachela

It’s hard to summarise in one paragraph the influence Rafael has had on me. We met as dancers working together at Rambert Dance Company, gelled immediately as friends and artists, and an instinctive creative partnership grew from the very beginning. He was embarking on an incredible journey as a choreographer, and we spent many hours together in the studio, which led to me spending a large amount of my contemporary career working with him – from the inception of his own company, forays into the commercial industry, to Sydney Dance Company. He had a profound impact on me and I cannot imagine my contemporary dance career without him. He was also influential in my transition from a dancer into leadership roles – both as Assistant Director of his company in London and then as Dance Director of Sydney Dance Company. His belief and trust gave me the confidence to step into this space now as an Artistic Director.

Rafael_Bonachela.jpg

Christopher Bruce

When I was 18 I had a terrible accident in the studio and broke my back… I had some pretty dark moments in the first few months after the injury and wasn’t sure if I would ever walk again, let alone make it back to dancing. My Pilates instructor at the time showed me a video of Christopher Bruce‘s, “Swansong” and it lit a fire in me; inspiring me to keep rehabilitating and get back to dancing. I wound up auditioning for Rambert while Christopher Bruce was the Artistic Director and my time with the company was a pivotal part of my career. I had the opportunity to work with Chris, create new work with him and, thanks to his curatorial vision, had the opportunity to work with the most amazing artists who all impacted me so deeply: Jiří Kylián, Matz Ek, Wayne MacGregor, Michael Clark and of course Rafael.Christopher BruceChristopher Bruce‘s, “Swansong”


Sylvie Guillem

I was constantly inspired by her versatility, her brilliance as a classical dancer, and then the unwavering commitment and focus on her craft, evolving, challenging herself and testing her boundaries. Seeing Sylvie work with some of the greatest contemporary choreographers and illustrating how powerful the diversity of her knowledge was, energised me. It confirmed to me that the craft of ballet and contemporary can reside within the same body comfortably and support an even greater capacity for communication.

“I had just won an award at a big competition. Miss Tweedie (PIctureD L) is wearing a traditional Indonesian batik scarf my parents gave her.❤️ also with me is my teacher, valerie jenkins (pictured right)”

Akram Khan

Akram is a natural-born storyteller and an otherworldly mover. We met in our mid-twenties at a photoshoot in London and I was so struck by his radiant kindness and calm demeanour. We stayed in touch throughout our careers and he has consistently inspired me as a dancer, friend, human being, and choreographer. He has a huge talent for marrying his own personal story/journey with choreographic genius to create works that people are drawn in by and connect to.

pina bausch pictured here in ‘Cafe müeller’

Crystal Pite

I am in awe of this amazing artist’s talents. Her work as a dancer inspired me beyond words and watching her trajectory as a choreographer is spellbinding. Her work is intricate, virtuosic and heart-wrenching. I could barely breathe the first time I experienced a piece of hers live and thanks to the beauty of online streaming, I recently watched Betroffenheit… she makes me wish I was still dancing now. 

Training with Darren Spowart in my freelance years. (Sydney, 2015)

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