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Hofesh on the left, Davide on the right

My love letter to...
Hofesh Shechter

By Davide Di Giovanni

Davide Di Giovanni

Love Letter is our series showcasing the influence of touring international performers and creators on established local talent. Previously, Izzi from The Preatures has professed her "real love" for Cat Power, Jono from Jaguar Ma credited Panda Bear's "musical pilgrimage" for his path to music, and Jonti wrote about the "endless inspiration" of The Flaming Lips.

Now Sydney Dance Company's Davide Di Giovanni writes of his admiration for Israeli choreographer, dancer and composer Hofesh Shechter, whose latest work Grand Finale plays the Sydney Opera House this year.

Dear Hofesh,

When I heard you were coming to Sydney I thought how wonderful it would be to finally have the chance to see your creativity on stage with your latest work Grand Finale -- I have heard so many good things about it. In fact, we met in Finland not long ago, in a little town called Koupio. I was struck with a thought that we were two rivers that have been flowing for a long distance before meeting briefly and flowing onwards, yet again.

Lately, I have been thinking about connection and how things come together. Like how water moves around the earth and guide different elements to connect. Mostly this results in a change or a shift to something more special, perhaps even something new.

I feel this is something that society has become fixated on. But what if everything we create isn’t something new or elements of those creations already exist? Hofesh, I don’t know you well but I sense that you might not always look for the new. Instead you look for the emotions captured in the moment, in this present life.

“Feel the reason for what I’m doing,'' you once said. That has stayed with me. As an aspiring artist and choreographer myself, I strive to convey what comes from my mind and my body without any restriction. I have always admired the honest energy moving out of your group’s choreography. Music, art and dance are things that bring people together in such a simple way and your work creates moments where things change shape and develop, without any pressure, following the flow of instinct.

You and I come from the opposite side of the world, but not far from each other. Two lands, Israel and Italy, with long histories and communities that continue to search for hope. Finding hope in this current day is no easy feat and I see how this theme takes shape in your work as your dancers search for light in the dark. As we find ourselves in a time where Mother Nature is questioning whether we deserve to enjoy the precious gifts of Earth, all we can do as dancers is continue to discover moves and rhythms which convey these vibrations to the spectator.

You have already achieved so much in your career but I feel frightened to think about the future. What I try to remember is that we have a duty as creators, dancers, choreographers and artists to look inside ourselves and translate this into a language of movement and rhythm which only a few in this world can speak. You are certainly one of them.

You also once said that with achievement comes disappointment. I think this is more true than ever. As we appreciate the daylight, we can also welcome the darkness, because without her there wouldn’t be a sunrise. I’ve seen beautiful ones here in Australia as I’m sure you’ve seen many around the world. I hope one day to travel for dance, just as you do. In the meantime, I will keep jumping and hoping there will be no rocks underneath.

Written by Davide Di Giovanni, Sydney Dance Company

See him perform as part of Bonachela / Forsythe from 21 March at Roslyn Packer Theatre.
See Hofesh's Grand Finale from 29 January in the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre. Find out more and book now.

Davide posing for a photo with Hafesh in Koupio

Davide and Hofesh pictured in Koupio.

Black and white photo of the cast of Grand Finale lined up, side on

The cast of Grand Finale.

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