Dancer Jack Ziesing on using movement and gesture as a communication tool
Emanating poise and rigour, Jack Ziesing feels most comfortable using movement and gesture to communicate the matters close to his heart. A company dancer for Dancenorth, and a performer in Dust, Ziesing has toured nationally and internationally with companies including the Queensland Ballet, BeijingDance/LDTX and Singapore Dance Theatre, and was first drawn to dance as a teenager after watching a production by Quantum Leap – a youth dance ensemble in Canberra.
‘I had never seen anything like it. I was inspired by all the young people on stage who were telling their stories through compelling and exciting dance. I loved the camaraderie that all the Quantum Leap dancers had and I wanted to be part of it.’
Affected by the performance, Ziesing auditioned to join Quantum Leap and, once accepted, honed his practice there for most of his youth – meeting likeminded people and working with influential creatives. His time at the ensemble acted as a springboard for his future career, as it wasn’t until then that the thought of dance as a feasible career option stirred in his mind. Once finishing high school, Ziesing was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) to study a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) degree. During his study, Ziesing was fortunate enough to travel internationally, to Taiwan and the United States, to perform at dance festivals and conferences.
Since beginning his practice the Dancenorth dancer has been impassioned by the use of dance and the body as a communication medium and a tool for change.
‘It’s important to me that I use this platform to speak about the things that I am passionate about and believe in. I enjoy being able to reflect on the world around me through art, through my own practice. To be able comment on the world through the scope of art can inspire change and positive thought.’
On Dancenorth’s Dust, Ziesing expressed that, ‘It’s is a special show. It reflects on many issues that we as a global community are facing while maintaining an ambiguous nature. It conjures up so many familiar thoughts and images that we recognise in our modern world and then asks if we agree with them. Is this journey that we are on as a society ultimately the right path? Where does it lead? Is it too late to turn back? Audiences will be moved, challenged and inspired by Dust. I think that many people will have a deeply visceral response to the work and be drawn right into its themes, constructs and beauty.’
Interview by Gabi Bergman.