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#HOFEST: Interview with dancer Phil Hulford

22 September 2015 | Alice Westoby

Continuing on with our series of interviews in line with the Hofesh Shechter Company’s #HOFEST season, taking place now and throughout October across iconic London venues, we had a chat with dancer Phil Hulford to find out more about the performances.

London Calling: Hi Phil! When did you first begin dancing?

Phil Hulford:I started dancing when I was 19. I was travelling the US and I decided I needed to do something different and I didn’t know what, so dance came up, it was really random actually. It was kind of like an instinctual choice and I felt cool to do it!

LC: So how did you end up joining Hofesh Shechter Company?

PH: I went to The Place in London and he was one of the teachers there for a term. He taught me for a while, we were friends through that and then in my final year he asked me to join for a tour of Uprising, which the school very kindly let me do and write essays on. So I continued doing my degree whilst touring and then straight after that I joined the company.

LC: You were a founding member of the company, how has the style of Hofesh’s work changed since the company began?

PH:I was with the company before it officially became a company. I think Hofesh still has his flavour and still has his style but it has become much more complex now and the rhythms are more complex, and I think, in that way it has changed but it’s still Hofesh.

LC: How are rehearsals going? I can imagine it’s very hectic for you all rehearsing 3 pieces at once!

PH:It’s pretty difficult if I’m honest! It’s a lot of information for the head, we have to do all the pieces for #HOFEST, but we are also doing second cast rehearsal for pieces too because we will be doing a split tour after #HOFEST (some of the company will be off to Hong Kong and the others off to Canada). And that has to be rehearsed now, because we won’t have much time! There’s really a lot going on, it’s a massive challenge.

LC: You’re also a rehearsal assistant for the company, what does that involve?

PH: Not as much as it sounds! Basically I rehearse the dancers when Bruno or Hofesh aren’t able to be there, so I’m involved in some of the scheduling and I’m the dancers rep, so if anybody has any problems they can come to me. Simple logistic stuff, leading the dancers I guess!

LC: What advice would you give to any young aspiring dancers?

PH: This has changed actually, I used to always say ‘just keep working hard’ but everybody always says that so I would say, don’t neglect fitness. Being strong and having high stamina will actually allow you to do way more things than you thought you could do. So don’t neglect fitness! And above that, keep it fun.

LC: And lastly, as you'll be based in London for the next month, what's your favourite thing about the city?

PH: I actually live in Brighton! So, I’m currently looking over beautiful Brighton from my balcony.

LC: Some people say Brighton is a mini version of London by the sea, would you agree with that?

PH: It’s absolutely that! It is nice to have a rehearsal routine at the moment though; usually our lifestyle is quite nomadic. These two months we have been rehearsing in the Royal Opera House most days so it has been quite consistent, but a nightmare to travel to Covent Garden everyday in rush hour!

Catch Phil and the Hofesh Shechter Company performing across September and October as part of #HOFEST. For more information and tickets visit www.hofesh.co.uk/hofest.

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