Comfortability and Comfort Zones with April Vardy

shall we get comfy April Vardy Peaks Fringe World 2018 Ausdance WA Dancewest Blog

Comfortability and Comfort Zones with April Vardy

Dancers explore their comfort zones in April Vardy’s new work for all ages at FRINGE WORLD 2018, Shall We Get Comfy?

Are we most comfortable being in the comfort of our own home? Do we find comfortability within others? How long does it take to get physically comfortable? What do we classify as our comfort zone? These are questions April Vardy had in mind when creating her new FRINGE WORLD 2018 show Shall we get Comfy?

April Vardy graduated WAAPA (Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts) in 2015, before furthering her studies and joining LINK Dance Company under the directorship of Michael Whaites. During her time at the WAAPA, she took a keen interest in choreography and in 3rd year choreographed a work entitled ‘Irritations’, which was performed at WAAPA as part of Studio A Season. It has been an ongoing interest to create and continue the process of being a dancer and choreographer.

We checked in with April who’s been busy getting ready for the show, kicking off Monday 19 February at Paper Mountain as part of the Peaks 2018 program for FRINGE WORLD festival.

Tell us a bit about yourself as artist: What makes you tick, what kind of subject matter are you drawn to explore and why?

As an artist, I find interest in all kinds of things. When you’re surrounded by such creative people it can result in amazing ideas coming to light. Through discussion and passion-driven artists, it can be a great environment to break down and research early thoughts for a potential work or idea. But it can also be at the most random moments, mostly in the middle of the night for me, that something just clicks in your head or an image appears. The subject matter can depend on my current life status, what music am I listening to, what influence can I pull from the world around me. But in regards to my Fringe work, ‘Shall we get comfy?’ I wanted to choose a topic that was something everyone could relate to. For it to be understood by all, or at least to make a connection with every person in the audience.

Do you have a pre-performance ritual or process?

Mostly silent, I don’t like excessive noise when I’m trying to concentrate. I suppose everything is heightened, but I do enjoy music on a low volume setting. I find visualisation before a show the most effective process for myself. Closing my eyes and seeing myself executing the movement, going through it over and over again.

Where did the idea for ‘Shall we get Comfy?’ come from? Was there an ‘aha moment’?

The idea came from a reflection of myself and relationships I had built through my time at WAAPA. I find it amazing when you meet these people and suddenly you have friends for life. So I wanted to investigate that process of finding comfortability and questioning what it means to be comfortable. When brainstorming this idea be to considered for a dance work it became clear that the act of being physically comfortable was something I definitely wanted to explore. So when it came to a set, I had always pictured a couch with just enough people to fit on it, which funnily enough I achieved.

Was there a particular inspiration for making an all-ages work?

For my first time being a part of FRINGE WORLD Festival, I did consider what was going to be my debut to the people of Perth and I suppose that with the concept relating to everyone, I thought why not involve all the ages. We all find comfort in different things, whether it’s music or food or a place, my show is an experience I wanted to share with everyone.

Any surprises? Give us a hint…

The soundtrack will not disappoint, through the influence of having Nikki Tarling in the cast – she somehow convinced me to put some disco in there. We tried it with other tracks but once I’d seen it to Cerrone ‘Give me Love’ I couldn’t’ go back.

Your comfy spot: bed, couch, floor…..?

Definitely bed, nothing makes me happier than laying horizontal after a really long day.

Shall we Get Comfy? kicks off tonight at Paper Mountain and features dancers and WAAPA graduates Andrew Barnes, Cory Derrick, Jessie Camilleri-Seeber, Scott Galbraith and Nikki Tarling. 

Shall We Get Comfy? is presented as part of Peaks 2018, a curated program of emerging visual art and performance organised by Paper Mountain for FRINGE WORLD 2018. Peaks 2018 is proudly sponsored by the City of Perth. 

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