DNA spoke with Rikki Mason, from The Bangarra Dance Theatre to ask how dancers work from home in iso.
DNA: Being in isolation, how do you train and keep fit? Do you have a routine you want to share?
Even though I’m working from home I am still taking class every day. We still have scheduled classes such as pilates, yoga, ballet or contemporary so this keeps me active and dancing. Because our days are a lot shorter and less physical compared to what we are used to I have been trying to keep my fitness up.
I try to get out and walk at often as I can. I like bodyweight exercises, I aim to do 100 push-ups a day and run ab/core circuits, changing them up every few days. We also have a circuit scheduled in for the company to do with each other so that keeps my cardio up. I wouldn’t say I have a set routine I just train what I feel like and when I feel like. That’s the great thing about having this extra time, I don’t feel pressured to get anything done as I know I have more time to be able to achieve my goals throughout the day.
How are you managing rehearsals, are they being done via Zoom and if so how’s that working out?
Rehearsals have been a big change for us all. We are on Zoom every day. It’s such a big difference for the company, we are used to being in each other’s pockets to now only seeing each other via camera. It has been challenging but all the dancers have committed to this new way of working because like everyone else we have had to adapt. Again, it’s not without its difficulties but we have managed to make it work and have found this new way of connecting and creating with each other.
Are you looking forward to getting back on stage and performing? What’s the next show?
Definitely, I can’t wait! I love performing, there is no other feeling for me that matches it. Of course, there are times where it is difficult and I have to push myself onstage but I think that is just part of this career. At times we are performing for weeks on end, night after night, so it does take its toll on you but I still love the feeling of walking off stage absolutely exhausted and I am looking forward to that feeling again.
At the moment we have had to cancel some of our seasons around the country due to COVID-19 so to be honest I’m not 100 percent sure. It’s all up in the air and the company is taking it day to day with the restrictions and what is possible to achieve. I know that we are hoping that the Sydney Festival will still go ahead. We will hopefully start creating a new work for that in October called Truganini: not the last which is a Tasmanian story which will open in early January.
To finish on a slightly cheeky one, are you excited about getting your gear off for a DNA fashion shoot?
Of course! I’m pretty quick to get my gear off after a show and walk around in my support. Ha ha. It’s just so much better. I’ve also danced onstage in just flesh undies and with the lights pointed on you you can’t really hide anything. I think it will be a great experience 😀
Bangarra is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed nationally and around the world for our powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical voice and utterly unique soundscapes, music and design.