Incu's got talent. We're often humbled by the incredible people we find to work in our stores, who, outside of their 9-5 are doing the most amazing things. Nicholas Acquroff talks to incredible dancer Deanne Butterworth about her journey in the realm of dance, just before she starts her shift at our Melbourne Women's store.
There’s an old blues song playing in the café where I meet Deanne Butterworth. It’s spinning on a record player, next to the swinging saloon doors that separate the bench tops and steaming coffee machine out front, from the cabbage-laden floors in the kitchen. Every time the doors swing it creates a scarily suitable accompaniment to the music, like you’re in New Orleans, where the crowd goes quiet every time someone new enters.
“I don’t know much about dance,” Deanne Butterworth says from her spot on the comfortable side of the booth. It’s literally the first thing she says. If you take the comment on face value you could be excused for thinking: But you’re a dancer? But she’s onto something completely brilliant - and entirely evident - when you look closely at the work of any highly creative person. The more accomplished you are at your chosen passion, the more you realise you have no idea.
Deanne is a dancer. And with every question comes a long, contemplative pause, where she presses her bright red lips together and plays with her dangling earrings and answers with something that’s always meandering and general and concise and profound at the same time. “I don’t know much about the dance scene either, I’m afraid. I’m not sure if dancing is the same as music or film. I don’t think you get into a click and get taken along with the fashion. There are the big dance companies and if you’re lucky, they take you overseas and give you residencies at places,” she says gently, staring across the quiet café and out onto the street.
After learning her craft at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Butterworth moved to Melbourne ten years ago, to follow her dreams in the big city. Her work as a performer and choreographer has taken her throughout Europe, Australia, North America and Asia, where she’s taken up residencies at well-respected studios like Dancehouse (Housemate 2010), Bundanon Trust and PAF (France), and Performa11 (NYC). While residencies sure up her schedule, it seems like Butterworth is on her own wave, barely swayed or even conscious of her wider creative industry. Her true love is creating her own shows. She writes, Choreographs, performs and brings her own audiences – keeps it simple. People pay their money, see something considerate and passionate and beautiful and move on. She’s not concerned about a fan base or changing the world. She’s just compelled to dance, that’s all.
Between solo performances, she picks up residencies and gets paid to perform and rehearse. At the moment, she’s in rehearsals at Dancehouse, where the money is good and the training is intense. If she’s lucky she will make money from the show, too, when it finally launches in the studio.
When we’re done we walk down Elizabeth Street to Incu, where she works one or two days a week between jobs. She’s happy at Incu, and she’s happy to be dancing.