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Marriage of ballet and acting
By JIM CHIPP
In the footlights: Dancer Sir Jon Trimmer practises
his acting skills as actress Helen Moulder strikes a
How does an actor respond to a wordless
co-performer? And how does a dancer
respond to an actor's words?
These are intriguing questions that
Circa show Meeting Karpovsky could
Dancer Sir Jon Trimmer and actor
Helen Moulder are reprising their 2002
show this month.
Trimmer and Moulder have worked
together before, in the television series
The Fireraiser, but never on stage.
Brisbane-based director Sue Rider said
Moulder had always wanted to work on
stage with Trimmer and the partnership
was an opportunity for Rider to explore
her interest in introducing different
disciplines to the theatre.
Together they devised a two-person
My excitement was bringing the two
art forms together -- a ballet dancer and
an actor together in a show that played to
their strengths, rather than one person
working in the other person's [perform-
ance art] form,'' she said.
Meeting Karpovsky was the story of a
woman who has too many words and a
man who has no need for words, Rider
In the play, Sylvia reveres ballet
dancer Karpovsky and has seen him per-
form 127 times. She knows every nuance
of the dances, but has never danced her-
self. Suddenly Karpovsky appears in her
attic room and, over time, draws out the
dancer in her.
But in doing so, he also draws out the
part of her emotionally that she has not
acknowledged as part of her . . . and in
doing that he does the same thing for
And in the end, when he has served
his purpose, he disappears.''
Moulder said acting with a non-actor
was very different to acting with actors.
I have to allow him time to respond
and watch him a bit more carefully
because with an actor you can listen to
them, but with Jon you have to concen-
trate and watch,'' she said.
He has to be more of an actor. I'm
moving -- I'm being an actor without
speaking. I have to be able to express
myself without speaking. I guess it's
The play repeats reality in that it was
Trimmer who taught her to dance years
ago in preparation for a role in the play
Trimmer said he was used to working
with dancers, but enjoyed working with
people who use words.
The fact that I'm not actually speak-
ing makes my part closer to a ballet role,''
However, my responding to Sylvia's
spoken word is something that does not
happen in ballet.''
Meeting Karpovsky is at Circa Theatre
until February 25.
It was written by Helen Moulder, Sir
Jon Trimmer and Sue Rider, who also
For information, call 801 7996 or visit
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