Student Q&Arts: Jake Ware
Get to know a student’s experience of studying at The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Music – Jake Ware is currently in their final year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) at the Victorian College of the Arts …
What attracted you to studying at VCA?
J: The desire to study and pursue dance as a professional career and not just get a piece of paper out of it but an actual comprehensive understanding of dance education and performance.
Describe a typical day of study ...
J: A typical day is set out with classes in the morning, based on technique and learning how your body moves. Then we move into repertoire or classical training to form the basis of a technique or learning a piece of work in the industry, and we also have academic classes where we study the body, dance history, and psychology.
What has been your favourite experience during your degree?
J: Connecting and working with industry professionals and hearing their experiences of the industry and working with companies and independent artists, based within Naarm Melbourne, Australia and internationally.
How do you bring your own identity and experiences into your creative practice?
J: Dance is one of those art forms where you must always bring your full self and find moments where you can highlight aspects of yourself but also moments where you need to conform to a piece of work. But it shows how your identity can adapt with dance and how it forms your identity as a dance artist.
How have you collaborated with other students while you’ve studied and what is the campus community like?
J: We have been stuck in COVID for a lot of this degree but last year we were very fortunate that we were able to collaborate and do classes with the acting students and the interactive composition students who are based in the music department. I performed and collaborated most recently with the interactive composition and animation students at the New Year’s Eve Celebration in Federation Square, supported by University of Melbourne.
What advice would you give to someone considering your degree?
J: Go for it. I came from a very classical background and now all I do is contemporary, so it broadens your understanding of what it is to be a dancer, and you don’t become a dancer, you become an artist. It’s about telling your story through dance in whatever form you can, and we do that through our course in the multidisciplinary projects we do.
How do you feel connected to your industry through your degree?
J: I had the privilege of travelling to Europe last year as part of the professional placement for an elective called Travelling Studio. I was over there training in Impulstanz, which is an international dance festival and I performed with a lot of international artists and watched performances, so my breadth of understanding about the industry in Australia and internationally is broader. A lot of our teaching staff are also based in the industry, so it’s a beautiful way to bring the industry into VCA.
What are your goals for the coming years?
J: Exploring more of my choreographic practice, so working as an independent artist and trying to express my identity through dance and explore what that means for me. I would also love to go back to Europe and be based in Austria, and work with them and their avant-garde experimentalist style.
What does a creative career look like?
J: The beautiful thing about being a creative person and an artist is you are not limited to what you study. So yes, I am a dancer, but through doing projects with the other students at VCA I have learnt how to understand a multitude of practices. I understand what it is to be a professional, but also how to be multifaceted in pursuing that.
Tell us about the Close to Home project that you’ll be performing in as part of the Shepparton Festival, with the Alleyne Dance company?
J: It delves into themes of change and settling, and it explores the land we call home and looks at the positives and negatives of migration and how it has impacted community.
We have been beginning the process of looking at our personal migration and displacement stories, both recent and past, and noted a correlation between our collective experiences of displacement of culture and identity. We are also acknowledging the First Nations experience of migration.
It will be so exciting to perform in Shepparton on Yorta Yorta country and tell people, through the work, our stories and show them that we all have that feeling of displacement and feeling alone. •
For more information: sheppartonfestival.org.au/event/close-to-home-project