This is Company Dancer Rian Thompson’s first time on tour…and overseas. We caught up with Rian before he left for China…
I have been a trainee dancer for two months. Before that I did two years as a Professional Year student with Queensland Ballet.
Are you excited about the tour?
Have you been to China before?
No – this is my first trip overseas! I’ve only left Queensland once before in my life, to go to Sydney for a ballet workshop, so this trip is very exciting for me.
Have you been on tour before?
Yes. I toured with the Company last year on our regional tour with Swan Lake, which was a lot of fun. It was an amazing feeling performing in my home town of Mackay – that was definitely a highlight. I also went to places I’d never been before like Townsville. I’ve seen a lot more of Australia since working with Queensland Ballet, and now China!
Have you packed?
It will be fairly empty, as I plan to do lots of shopping! But I will have ballet gear, including ballet flats, rehearsal t-shirts, tights and make-up. And definitely warm clothes.
So you’re planning to do lots of shopping?
Absolutely! And Suzhou is the home of silk, so I’ll be buying my Mum some silk from there.
How have you been preparing for the tour?
It’s been an intense few months learning Carmen, rehearsing for our Vis-a-vis Prelude season and of course learning The Little Mermaid.
Have you performed The Little Mermaid before?
No, this is my first time. I saw the production in 2008 when I was a QDSE (Queensland Dance of Excellence) student.
What role are you playing?
In Act 1 I’m a sea creature and in Act 2 I play a courtier and a spirit.
What do you like about the production?
I love the emotional journey that the Little Mermaid goes on. My favourite scene is the Sea Witch scene – the music is beautiful. I also love the spirit scene – I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s very dramatic.
What do you think you’ll gain from this tour?
A broader mind and respect for another culture. I think this tour is going to be a big eye- opener for me, especially being my first trip overseas. I feel very proud to have the opportunity to dance with Queensland Ballet on an international stage.
What do you think Chinese audiences will think of The Little Mermaid?
I think they’ll embrace it and love it.