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#HOFEST: Interview with dancer Hannah Shepherd

15 September 2015 | Alice Westoby

As part of the exciting lead up to #HOFEST, we are having a chat with some of the dancers of the Hofesh Shechter Company. First up, is Hannah Shepherd who spoke to us about how preparations for the season are going.

London Calling: Hi Hannah! When and how did you first begin dancing?

Hannah Shepherd:I first began dancing when I went to college, I was about 16 and it was contemporary dance through the A Level course.

LC: And when did you join Hofesh Shechter Company?

HS: I joined Hofesh in 2009, so I’ve been with the company for quite a long time. I met him and then went to an audition.

LC: What part of #HOFEST are you most excited about performing?

HS: I think all of it! I think it’s the combination of performances that’s exciting, to change between different things. The opera is very different, and then you have barbarians, which is different again, and then you’ve got Political Mother: The Choreographers Cut which is something completely different with loads of musicians – it’s an epic piece!

LC: You were in the company for the original version of Political Mother. How does it feel bringing it to the O2 Academy Brixton?

HS: It’s going to be really fun! Its one of my favourite pieces, I absolutely love doing Choreographers Cut.

LC: So how is Choreographers Cut different from the original version of Political Mother?

HS: There are more quiet moments in the normal Political Mother, which have kind of vanished.  It’s much more pumping, it’s non-stop!

LC: There’s going to be a new trilogy of work as part of this season, barbarians, can you tell me a bit more about your role in this piece?

HS: I will be performing in a duet, which I share the role with another girl in the company - it’s the last piece in the trilogy.

LC: Performing in an opera, Orphèe et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House is a first for the company – are you looking forward to the challenge?

HS: It has been quite a challenge actually, because we’re so used to having Hofesh’s beat and his rhythm, where the music for the opera changes constantly so we constantly have to hold on to the music as much as we possibly can. I think as we’ve gone on we’ve got better at it!

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

HS: It’s hard work, and you have to try and get your fingers in all the pies and experience as much as you can!

LC: As you’ll be based in London for the next month and a half, can you tell us your favourite thing about the city?

HS: I have a weird relationship with London! I used to live in London and I live in Brighton now, I had to move back because it was a bit too much. I like visiting London but I don’t like living there! But I like the fact that it’s buzzing, and for dance it’s great.

LC: Have you been to see any other pieces of dance lately or have you not had the time?

HS: No I haven’t had time! I have a little son and I barely have time to brush my hair!

LC: I can imagine rehearsals are very hectic!

HS: Yeah, we’re kind of doing a bit of everything really. Mainly the opera, but we have had a few rehearsals for Choreographers Cut and barbarians, so it’s all well underway.

Catch Hannah 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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