Labyrinth of Love © Eric Richmond
Labyrinth of Love
© Eric Richmond
Traditionally, professional dancers spend most of their career at one company. This picture seems to be changing. Today dancers have a wider pool of companies to choose from and they often move around, relocating to different cities, countries and even continents. Should an entire career revolve around one company or is there any merit in seeking variety? Eryck Brahmania was an ideal dancer to explore these questions, as his career encompasses diversity. After dancing with Hong Kong Ballet, he returned to the UK and danced with Rambert, Michael Clark Dance and currently dances with Italian born Luca Silvestrini's Protein Dance Company. 

I had the privilege to speak with Eryck Brahmania about a dancer’s loyalty to companies and how this has played out within his own life and career. Born and bred in London, Eryck attended the Royal Ballet School from age of 11 to 19 and sweetly admitted that what drew him to ballet was that his elder sister was taking class. During his time at the Royal Ballet School, he had the opportunity to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, which he declared was a fantastic experience. To address my curiosity in learning how it is that the Londoner moved to Hong Kong, Eryck described the day when Stephen Jefferies, director of Hong Kong Ballet back then, came to watch class which served as the link to dancing in Asia.

Stroryteller © Eryck Brahmania
Stroryteller
© Eryck Brahmania
He modestly joked that at the time of Jefferies' visit, he had a hip injury and was sure that even the 11 year olds danced better. Humor aside, Eryck believed that director of the school Gailene Stock put in a good word for him and thus his Asian adventure began.

Eryck had a successful career in Hong Kong and enjoyed living and working there. He explained that life in Hong Kong was exciting and that the language barrier was not a challenge. When asked what factors played into his decision to leave Hong Kong Ballet, he explained that he wanted to try new things and follow his interest in contemporary dance work. This urge brought him back to the UK, where he landed a job with Rambert. In an unpresuming manner, ballet-trained Eryck shared how Rambert offered him a contract and were willing to work with him to see if he could adapt to their company, and to their contemporary movement aesthetic. However, having seen Eryck dance, I am sure that they saw what I saw; a special dancer with an incredible facility who loves to perform. Eryck spoke highly of his time with Rambert and said that he not only enjoyed doing the works of some of the top choreographers, but also felt it was, thus far, “the best years of his career”. But then where did he go and why did he choose to leave one of the most successful companies in the UK? Eryck replied that he again wanted to venture out and try new things and that it wasn't about leaving a company but more about gaining new experiences and growing as an artist. 

Awakenings © Eryck Brahmania
Awakenings
© Eryck Brahmania

Eryck is currently based in London and working with Protein Dance Company. As an additional cast member with the company's new project Border Tales, I met Eryck in the Autumn of 2013 and had the honor and privilege of not only working and dancing with him, but watching him prepare for performances. His stage presence and passion reflects his offstage work ethic and commitment to technique. With strikingly beautiful dancing, athletic body and candidness on stage, Eryck is captivating in Border Tales. The respect he has for the field comes out in his determination to work meticulously while never sacrificing his artistic voice.

Eryck spoke of the challenges of combining text with dance for Border Tales and how this was a new way of working for him. His solo gives insight into his life as well as into his choreographic voice, since it was jointly created with Luca Silvestrini, artistic director for Protein. Eryck shared that this experience has been invaluable for him, allowing to discover more about himself as a dancer as well as an adult. After months of developing Border Tales with his fellow dancers, Eryck is now excited to share it with the public, and hopes that people will identify with it and enjoy the humor, wit, joy, boldness, creativity, music and artistry it offers.