Tim Harbour has been met with countless successes, and won countless hearts, during his creative journey. He made his choreographic debut with Sunken Waltz for the Bodytorque season of 2005, and in 2007 he changed gears by retiring from dance – after 13 years – to focus wholeheartedly on his choreographic career. Tim has only risen since. After choreographing works for The Dancers Company, Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses in New York, The Queensland Ballet and West Australian Ballet, Tim will make his debut on The Australian Ballet’s mainstage in 2010 with a work called Halcyon.
Tim’s work has been praised for its lightness, fluidity and poetic undertones. His breathtaking work, Wa, for Bodytorque received particularly glowing praise, with The Australian writing: “the very air quivered with a multitude of meanings … Harbour is a thoughtful and articulate man who can translate ideas and emotions into movement with clarity. He clearly understands music too.”
Halycon will be performed alongside two works by fellow choreographer Stephen Baynes for the triple bill Edge of night. Tim talked to us about taking the path to the mainstage.
Will your work lean toward classical ballet, or will it have a contemporary edge?
This is always hard to define because ‘classical’ or ‘contemporary’ are relative terms. To me most of what I do feels quite classical. I’d like to think that I stay open to using whatever physicality is going to appear most expressive but to qualify that movement with the form and structures often associated with classical ballet.
How did Bodytorque equip you with the confidence and inspiration to become the choreographer you are today?
Bodytorque was tremendous both because it had limitations and luxury; limitations in terms of the short rehearsals, and no budget for a design component. All expression and atmosphere had to be conjured purely via steps. And luxurious because you are choreographing on some of the best dancers in the country.
How did your work for The Dancer’s Company Songs of Light represent your style?
I hope that every piece I make has a few beautiful poetic moments and I think Songs of Light was successful in this way. I don’t always achieve this but it’s not for lack of trying!
Edge of night plays in Melbourne from 26 August – 4 September and Sydney from 11- 29 November
Subscription packages for The Australian Ballet’s 2010 season are on sale now
Artists of The Dancers Company in Tim Harbour’s Songs of Light. Photography Jess Bialek