Delving Into Dance
About This Show
Delving into Dance is a podcast of conversations with dance makers and lovers, sharing interviews that are both intimate and thought provoking.
Through a diversity of views, experiences and practices, we can better understand the role dance plays in individuals’ lives, while demystifying and opening dance up to new audiences. What can those who don’t regularly engage with dance learn from the artform?
Delving into Dance is a passion project of researcher and dance-lover Andrew Westle. Andrew is not a dancer, instead he brings his unique perspective and passion for the art-form. Audio engineering by the talented Marco Alexandre De.
Most Recent Episode
5 days ago
I first came across the incredible Noel Tovey in 2009 a friend and I saw Little Black Bastard, his solo show. It was such a brave performance and Noel exuded such grace and humility. But what we were blown away by was his story of survival. His life started in neglect and poverty, he endured frightening amounts of sexual abuse and now had an incredibly successful career as a dancer, choreographer, actor and director.
Noel Tovey’s life has been utterly extraordinary. Living as a street kid and rent boy in Melbourne during the 1940 and 50s, he was sent to Pentridge Gaol in 1951, when he was 17, after pleading not guilty to the crime of buggery. It was only in 2016 that the Victoria State Government apologised to men like Noel, men who were incarcerated and persecuted as a result of unjust laws that marked homosexuality as criminal. Noel was an important advocate in the campaign that lead to the apology, and he was present for the apology.
Noel’s interest and passion in the performing arts took him from Melbourne to London and across Europe to New York. He started ballet classes with the famous Madame Borovansky, where he cleaned the studios in exchange for classes. He started his professional dance career in 1954 with Paint Your Wagon at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Replacing a boy who broke his leg in rehearsal, Noel become the first Indigenous male ballet dancer in Australia.
After several years working in Australia, Noel left for the footlights of London. Noel made his acting debut in the West End production Oh Dad Poor Dad with legendary American actress Stella Adler in 1961. He became a principal dancer with The Sadler’s Wells Company. His choreographic career started in 1966 with a production of Sandy Wilson’s The Boyfriend.
During the premier season of Oh! Calcutta, Noel met his long term partner David (Dave) Sarel. Together they opened L’Odeon, an art gallery specialising in 20th century decorative art. Noel lost Dave to AIDS in February 1986. After which time Noel devoted himself to fighting against the myths related to HIV/AIDS and to helping increase education about the disease