Andrew Simmons: Facing the Creation
By Francesca Horsley
It could be said that former Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Andrew Simmons has the best of both worlds – living in Europe but returning home each year to choreograph a new work with old friends in the familiar RNZB studio.
When interviewed, he had just returned from Germany and was hard at work on his new piece Of Days. The work premiered alongside new works by Javier de Frutos and RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel in the company’s Made to Move season.
Andrew is small, with the refined essence of a dancer – yet he hung up his dancing shoes almost mid career when he left New Zealand to pursue a fulltime career in choreography.
When he joined the RNZB dancing became the priority, so for a time choreography went on the back burner. Nevertheless he jumped at every opportunity to make works, taking part in the company’s periodic choreographic workshops.
Andrew says his work is purely abstract with a human element. He enjoys working from a blank slate, combining all the elements to transform the entire space.
While he works within the classical framework, “the way of getting from this step to that step can be skewed somehow or can be adapted to fit - either as it comes from me or from the dancers”.
Andrew believes choreography can’t be taught. “It can be learnt but at the same time you need to learn from it"
Read the full article (Iss. 31) Facing the Creation