Lisa Wilson, Choreographer, Lake

Be bold and try, even if you don’t succeed ...

Dancer and choreographer Lisa Wilson takes to a mystical, almost eerie stage flooded with water at the Judith Wright Centre this weekend. A former dancer from Expressions Dance Company, Lisa parted for the independent world, with aspirations to further her 20-year performance career choreographically. Presenting her first full-length independent work Elbow Room in 2010, Lisa has gone on to create Lake, harnessing the serene, calm, menacing, murky and isolating sides to water. Tapping in to people’s fascinations and fears surrounding water, Lisa Wilson, along with Timothy Ohl and Hsin-Ju Chui, dance on a stage submerged in dark liquid. The Weekend Edition caught up with Lisa during rehearsal for Lake’s opening night.

How do you like to start your weekend?
I usually start my weekend at 5:30 am with our two young daughters jumping on me and cuddling and giggling in bed … as much as I love that, I do dream about sleeping in one day!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Most weeks I take our eldest daughter to dance class and I catch up with my mum and brother for brunch at Tognini’s, Fortitude Valley.

How do you like to unwind?
I love gardening … it is a place that I truly just let go of everything else and feel peaceful.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Quality time with my family, some time at home to just sit on our beautiful deck and read the paper and maybe a bit of gardening. Catching up one evening with some good friends and a nice bottle of red … and then doing something really fun with our girls (so I can be a big kid too!).

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
So much! We just never seem to have enough time to do all the things we want to. We keep talking about just getting in the car and driving down the coast to have breakfast by the beach and then a morning swim … maybe one day soon.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
In the warmer weather – a nice glass of red wine on our deck.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Next weekend we will be performing my latest full-length independent dance theatre work Lake at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

What are you reading at the moment?
E-mails. I’m in the middle of getting our show on, so not much time for anything else at the moment.

What inspires you?
People who are brave, who live life to the fullest. My mum inspires me – she has survived cancer and was told she would never get back to independent living. Now she is travelling through the Kimberleys and heading towards Darwin and Kakadu on a four-month adventure.

What was your childhood dream?
To dance, to have a career in dance. I have been so fortunate to have lived my life doing what I love.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Sustaining a career after 20 years in the performing arts. But any parent will tell you that bringing two beautiful children into the world is by far my greatest achievement. I have also been with my husband David Peirce now for 19 happy years – I think that’s quite an achievement!

What is success to you?
To never think ‘what if’. To be bold and try even if you don’t succeed. To know that you never held back and lived every moment.

What are your words of wisdom?
Be ‘aware’ and be ‘present’ in life. Don’t skim through and look back and wonder where that time went. Hold your child’s hand and play games with them, hold your parent’s hand and cherish the time you have with them.

Only a local would know … the kids’ corner on the ground level of The State Library is the most fantastic place to take young children.

Perk up …
Orleigh Park, West End
Relax … In my garden
Dine … Anesis in Yeronga – fabulous Sunday Brunch overlooking a park
Indulge … Freestyle Tout at Emporium – fantastic desserts
Shop … Any of Brisbane’s fabulous markets
Catch-up … South Bank
Be inspired … GOMA, and the many talented artists across artforms living and producing work in Brisbane


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