Christopher Akril is the Co-Director of HeadSpaceDance, who will be coming to Bournemouth on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 February with Stepmother/Stepfather – a dark and sexy double-bill where macabre folklore meets the terrifying grotesque and a twisted family situation leads to a grisly search from redemption from beyond the grave. We caught up with Christopher to talk about life as an artist:
– Explain what you do in 100 words.
I retired from Cullberg ballet 6 years ago, where I danced for 12 years. Now I’m back based in the UK, I am co-director of HeadSpaceDance Company, I freelance as a dancer and actor. I love photography as a hobby.
– Why do you do what you do
I need to and because I love doing what I trained to do.
– How do you work?
We as HeadSpace work very much collaboratively with choreographers and directors, the work created is mostly task based, and we also take an actors approach to dance and theatre. I personally believe all work and no play makes jack a dull boy, so I believe in a good balance, work hard and have fun on the way, I feel so very lucky to still be doing what I set out to do and trained to do.
– What’s your background?
I started out as a gymnast, I trained intensively from around 6 or 7 until 11, it was my life, and as part of the training we had to take ballet barre several times a week, I never really thought much about it until I had an accident on the high bar and fractured my jaw, it took around 10 months to recover. I came back and not that long after had another knock to my jaw… Well, that was enough for me! So I decided to call it a day, and the day I quit I remember leaving the gym and asked my mother if I could start ballet classes now, of course she was all for it. Anything to keep this bundle of hyperactivity out of her hair I’m sure. I trained at Northern Ballet School and went on to dance in several ballet companies. I moved to contemporary dance when I was 28. Over the last 5 years I have worked more as an actor which is something I would love to continue to pursue as well.
– What’s integral to the work of an artist?
For me, personally, it’s important to totally commit to whatever it is you decide to do, or take as a job, and to find an honesty in everything you do or approach, and be open, and not afraid to fail, or make mistakes.
– What role does the artist have in society?
To entertain, challenge, educate and to provide escape.
– How has your practice change over time?
It’s not really changed, just my body has changed so self preservation is key these days, knowing what you can and can’t do.
– What work do you most enjoying doing?
Acting and dancing, combining the two.
– What memorable responses have you had to your work?
That I am like the Ryan Gosling or the Tim Roth of the dance world… So funny!
– What food, drink, song inspires you?
Sushi, wine, and water, somewhere over the rainbow.
– Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Ryan Gosling and Tim Roth is a good start…
– What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Go with the tiredness, use it don’t fight it. Be brave and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself.
– Professionally, what’s your goal?
To continue doing what I am doing, well, and to the best of my ability. I’m excited to see where we can take HeadSpaceDance in the future.