Former Clarence Valley dancer Janessa Dufty flies through the air at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris. Photo: Pedro Greig.
Former Clarence Valley dancer Janessa Dufty flies through the air at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris. Photo: Pedro Greig.

Janessa dances through the next open door

AFTER 12 years of dancing across the world with the Sydney Dance Company, former local performer Janessa Dufty had her final performance planned.

With family and friends ready to cheer her on in Rafael Bonachela's latest work Impermanence, coronavirus restrictions closed down the performance, and closed the door on her time at the company.

"it was going to be a beautiful end, sadly I didn't get to thank and say goodbye to my colleagues in person," Ms Dufty said.

"It's a very strange time, and I'm heartbroken for that, but it's something you have to accept, and I'm ready to move on."

Ms Dufty said the constant pressures on her body and a desire to experience different things led to her decision to leave her artistic base.

Janessa Dufty for the New Breed performances with Sydney Dance Company. Photo: Pedro Greig.
Janessa Dufty for the New Breed performances with Sydney Dance Company. Photo: Pedro Greig.

"I've loved everything, and am lucky to feel like I've achieved it all as a dancer," she said. "I'm very excited for what we did.

"I've worked with many guest choreographers and talented people throughout my time at SDC, hopefully we can connect again in another creative light."

 

READ: The Daily Examiner's feature on Janessa's career that was featured in our Clarence+ publication

 

Ms Dufty said that her working touring the great stages of the world would always be a highlight, with memorable performances in New York, and at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.

"It's a great hub for contemporary dance … across from the Eiffel Tower," she said. "If you get to perform there, it's pretty special.

"But I loved it all, they all had something very different and special."

As for her favourite performances, Ms Dufty said a standout was the duet in recent work Ab. Intra, saying she felt a freedom she'd never experienced.

Janessa Dufty performs in the Sydney Dance Company's performance of Ab. Intra. Photo: Pedro Greig.
Janessa Dufty performs in the Sydney Dance Company's performance of Ab. Intra. Photo: Pedro Greig.

"Performing for so long, and still having that experience, it's always about discovering," she said.

In the future, Ms Dufty said she wanted to try different things, whether choreography, teaching or working in smaller groups.

"Now I can pick and choose the path I want to take, but I'm sure it's in the arts because it's my love and passion," she said.

"I had a dance film in NZ lined up after as well as some dance adjudicating for the Dubbo and Sydney Eisteddfod, which have all been postponed.

"I want to give back to the community. Those were things I did when I was a kid, and now I can pass on my knowledge to other kids."



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