Today’s Creative is a dancer and performer by the name of Jacinta Larcombe. She recently came onto our radar because she’s the star of a show that opens at The Blue Room tonight, The Little Mermaid. It is inspired by the tale of the same name written by Hans Christian Andersen, yet it’s a far cry from what’s come before.
We’re giving away a double-pass to see the show! Details of how to enter are at the end of the interview…
Official job title: Dancer/Performer
Summarise your career background and how you’ve come to where you are now:
I started dancing when I was 5 years old, training in ballet and then moving on to contemporary when I was 12. I have been with STEPS YOUTH DANCE COMPANY for six years and have been a part of four major season shows performing at places like The Playhouse, Subiaco Arts Centre and The State Theatre of WA.
Your new show The Little Mermaid is set to open at The Blue Room tonight. We know it’s a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, but what can we expect?
Hmm… well, you can expect themes of relationships, first love… unrequited love, reminiscing of younger days and a magical underwater feeling.
What is the best thing about your job?
I think the best thing about my job is that I can exist in it fully, I get so excited about working on new devised pieces, it’s the rush of creating something new, and how much it can effect me, mind, body and soul. It gets to a point where I start to dream it or certain aspects of the piece start to appear in my every day life.
Take us through a typical day of your work in the lead up to an opening night:
Well usually it will start off with a really good sleep, I don’t function properly without a solid 8 hours. Get ready at home, have a little dance in my room, get in the headspace of the character or the role I have to play, run it over in my head. Think about it all while I am on the bus. Arrive at the theatre, do some stretching or yoga and warm up, I really like to shake my whole body. So I’ll do that for a while, for me it wakes up every part of my body and keeps track of that nervous energy. Work through notes. Then get ready, get into costume and make up, all those kinds of things. Some of it changes depending on what my mind and body need, especially if I have been doing a big dance performance.
What’s next for you?
I’m not really sure… this is a really big transitional time for me, going from young professional into ‘real life’ professional, so I am excited to see what unfolds.
What has been your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was giving a speech at the Steps Youth Dance Company show Try Hard after the Saturday night performance, which is a big night because reviewers come and a lot of people from the industry are there and my family came too. At the VIP party after the show I gave a speech talking about how things have not been so easy for me and there have been dark times but how much of a privilege it is to be a part of the company, and how it is a place for youth to be comfortable for who they are, which is so important. I don’t think I would be the same person I am now without it. I cried a bit when I was talking and I was nervous, but the response from people was so overwhelmingly heart warming and proud.
Which local artists/musicians/creatives do you admire?
There are two female artists that I really adore and think so highly of, which are Kučka and Mei Saraswati. Every time I listen to their music I can’t help but move. I really admire a dancer who grew up in Perth but is now dancing internationally, James O’Hara, he is just the most incredible creature to watch and to listen to. He’s really someone I look up to very much. Also a good friend of mine, artist Bradley Johnson. He is such a talented painter, his paintings are just visually so stunning and incredibly magical.
Any advice for those trying to enter into the creative community in Perth?
Go to as many events as you can – theatre, dance, art, music whatever. That’s the only way you’ll find out about what’s out there, where the arts are heading. I think it is also important not to be afraid to talk to people who are already in the community, you’ll never know what you might find out by striking up a conversation with someone.
The Little Mermaid. Photo by Jackson Eaton.
What do you love about Perth?
I actually really love Perth a lot, there is a great sense of community when it comes to being passionate about something, whether it’s the arts or protesting or whatever. I love the beaches and the parks and I really love the music scene, there is so much good music and being a dancer I just want to go out and move to it. I feel pretty privileged to be living in a State where there’s such a huge sense of creative development and pride and passion.
What does Perth need?
Most frequented coffee spot?
I am always moving around coffee places, but my favourite at the moment is PICA Bar. It’s in such a nice place in the city and it’s so open; it’s nice to be able to look out and see everything that’s going on. It’s a great place to go to watch people and observe things, there’s always lots of people walking by and birds hanging out. I like drinking coffee outside and being able to see the sky.
Best live music venue?
I really like going to The Bird, it’s really intimate and I have been to a few really good gigs there. I also like Gilkinsons Dance Studio on Murray street.
My dad surfs, so I grew up going to the beach a lot with him and my brother. I like Trigg beach for sentimental value and I also really like the beaches down in Margaret River.
Up north or down south?
Down south for sure, my dad used to take my brother and me for weekend trips every winter for a while when we were younger. It’s so beautiful and green; I really like going away from the city for a while, especially when my head’s all cloudy or I’m frustrated about things, to go and be surrounded by nature. Also, in Margaret River there’s a petting farm called Sunflower Valley and you can feed the animals and it’s the best thing ever. Jacinta.
We’re giving away a double-pass to see The Little Mermaid. To enter, email your name and phone number to email@example.com by 5pm today. The winner will be notified by email.
The Little Mermaid opens tonight, 20 August and runs until 7 September. Head to The Blue Room website to buy tickets.