Some Rooms at the Sydney Theatre
Retracing footsteps from the past has been an “exciting and humbling” process for Paul Mercurio.
It’s been 21 years since the actor/dancer/choreographer wowed audiences in Graeme Murphy’s compelling production of Some Rooms for the Sydney Dance Company. This week he was back in the studios coaching a much younger Bradley Chatfield in the leading role.
“When you realise how many years have gone by, it makes me feel old, although I still feel like I’m 21,” says Mercurio, who will appear in Channel Seven’s mini-series Through My Eyes with Lindy Chamberlain next month.
“It’s a bit confronting — I couldn’t even pretend to get up and do it now. But I can step back and say, `I did it’, and rejoice in the fact I was able to and I like to think I did it half as good as Brad did today.”
Mercurio says he used to see dance and want to get up and do it. But after today’s exhausting rehearsal, he’s not racing to leap around the room.
The 41-year-old is content to be coaching, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of dancers. But he’s not hanging up his boots yet. He recently danced in the stage version of The Full Monty and says he’s happy to go where the work takes him.
“I do a bit of everything. You have to these days,” he says. “A bit of acting, choreography, song and dance, coaching and speaking.”
And cooking and brewing beer.
Mercurio has been brewing at home for 18 years and says he’s now hoping to launch his own label. In Melbourne, where he lives with his wife and three children, he has devised “beer dinners” at restaurants, where chefs cook his famous Mediterranean recipes and serve his beer.
“I like to cook,” he admits. “It’s all about creating things.”
Many years ago he passed on a risotto recipe to Chatfield, who still raves about it today. Chatfield is also thrilled to be revisiting Some Rooms, which he first performed 12 years ago.
“Usually when people leave the company, they don’t bring the ballets back, but when I heard this was returning I was very excited,” he says.
Mercurio says he’s not in town to teach Chatfield how to dance, but to “tweak the choreography”.
“I was always a character. I brought my acting into the dance and they wanted me to impart the spirit behind the steps.”
He describes Some Rooms as an emotional, physical, subconscious and spiritual journey, an awakening of mind, body and spirit. It unfolds through four areas: a bedroom, bathroom, changing room and reading room.
Katherine Griffiths will dance opposite Chatfield in the key role created on Murphy’s creative associate Janet Vernon.
Some Rooms plays at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, from September 23 to October 16. Bookings 92501999
–Julie Huffer, The Daily Telegraph
Archive for September, 2004
Some Rooms at the Sydney Theatre
1 onion finely chopped
300g of Arborio rice
1 bottle of wheat beer
1 kilo of large mussels
1 leek sliced
1 fennel bulb cleaned peeled and sliced
1 Kilo large shelled prawns with tails in tact
5 large cloves of garlic mashed with teaspoon of salt
I would rather run and fall than take no chance at all.
Mind you I seem some times to never be able to run fast enough or far enough or even get a run up! As for falling over, the falling part seems to be the easy part! It’s the getting up bit that proves to be the most challenging and tiring.
And today I am tired. The smoggy clouds of defeat are hanging low over the tops of my mountains and I cant see one foot fall in front of the other, the path that I know lies ahead nor the sun shining on the other side of the dense wall of smog.
I might sit and rest awhile.
September US Television Schedule
Strictly Ballroom: Fri Aug 27 04:00P on Encore Love Stories Sat Aug 28 10:25A on Flix Movie Channel Sat Aug 28 08:00P on Flix Movie Channel Wed Sep 1 09:30A on Starz Cinema Wed Sep 1 04:30P on Starz Cinema Mon Sep 13 10:30A on Starz Cinema Mon Sep 13 08:00P on Starz Cinema Sun Sep 19 10:30A on Starz Cinema Sun Sep 19 06:20P on Starz Cinema Fri Sep 24 07:20A on Starz Cinema Fri Sep 24 04:35P on Starz Cinema Tue Sep 28 07:05A on Starz Cinema Tue Sep 28 06:20P on Starz Cinema