NOT many dancers can lay claim to carving out an international career in classical ballet and then turning full circle to become Kylie Minogue’s assistant choreographer and rehearsal director.
Not to mention working with Scottish alternative rockers Primal Scream. Such is the diverse CV of ex- Perth girl Amy Hollingsworth.
A graduate of the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, Hollingsworth joined the New Zealand Ballet in 1994, before setting off for Denmark’s Peter Schaufuss Ballet and later, London’s Rambert Dance Company.
In 2000, she became a founding member of Bonachela Dance Company, headed by Spanish-born choreographer Rafael Bonachela.
Her relationship with the Spaniard remains to this day, with the pair filling the artistic director and dance director roles respectively at the Sydney Dance Company (SDC), and it was with Bonachela that she worked for the ‘pop princess’, starting with a performance of mega-hit Can’t Get You Out of My Head at the 2002 Brit Awards.
“I went on tour to cover for the female dancers but mostly to be there as technical director, so I’d watch the show every night and give her feedback on the dancers and movement,” Hollingsworth said.
“It was electric sitting among 10,000 screaming fans – I used to get goose-bumps the minute the lights went down and Kylie would come out on the floor.
“She was then, and still is, at the height of her game but it was that tour that really cemented her in that role of absolute worldwide pop star.
“Working with Kylie introduced me to another way of working – really commercial, huge audiences. It was information that made me into the dancer that I am.”
Or was. After performing in Bonachela’s celebrated contemporary work we unfold for SDC – which premiered in 2009 – Hollingsworth has sidestepped into the role of dance director, paving the way for a new generation of dancers.
The piece, inspired by Bonachela’s move to Australia, and into the unknown, is deeply personal to the Spanish director. It also resonates strongly with Hollingsworth, who has lived interstate and abroad for almost two decades.
Fittingly, Hollingsworth and Bonachela are finally bringing the work to Perth, making it the first performance in her hometown since flying in with Rambert in 2001.
“(I can connect with) a lot of the elements…leaving your country, the farewell, the separation, longing and how the power of the heart keeps you connected to the love that you’re so far away from,” she said.
“There’s a lot of heart-wrenching beautiful moments…it’s challenging, driving and free-spirited.”
We unfold is at His Majesty's Theatre, Perth, from July 27-30.