Adam Bull knows a thing or two about dedication, the ballet dancer with a string of critically acclaimed lead performances under his belt spends each day in his studio maintaining his body and refining a technique which is constantly evolving and changing. We spoke to the stylish talent about the underpinning of his success and always striving for ‘that unattainable ideal of perfection’.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOU WANTED TO BE A DANCER?
I was promoted to the highest rank of principal at the Australian Ballett in 2008. I was picked by our Artistic Director David McAllister to join the company after graduating from The Australian Ballet School in 2001. I started dancing when I was 7 years old after being encouraged by my grade 1 primary school teacher. I’m always thankful for her guidance because without her I’m not sure I would be living out my passion.
HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THE ART FORM THAT IS BALLET DANCING? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU EXACTLY?
Ballet is an art form steeped in history and requires an immense amount of dedication, drive, and focus. Our bodies are our paintbrushes allowing us to communicate with an audience a vast range of stories and emotions.
WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS TO?
I like to consider myself a pretty open and laid back guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely dedicated, focused and driven to achieve my goals, but you do have to be able to do it with a sense of humor and a smile on your face. I think you have to be able to laugh at yourself and to not take things too seriously. I am known by my partners at work to be a little distracting at times, but nothing really beats a good belly laugh does it!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely dedicated, focused and driven to achieve my goals, but you do have to be able to do it with a sense of humor and a smile on your face. I think you have to be able to laugh at yourself and to not take things too seriously.
YOU WERE JUST IN CHINA ON TOUR. WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE PREPARATION FOR THIS KIND OF PERFORMANCE?
There is always a bit more pressure when touring overseas. You are representing yourself, the company and Australia on the world stage. But it is under this pressure I tend to do my best performances. This tour was exceptionally tough as there was a vast range of injuries and illness which played havoc amongst the dancers. I was thrown for the opening night of the prince in The Sleeping Beauty in Shanghai after not having performed the role for over a year as one of my fellow principals was extremely sick. There was no time for any rehearsal or preparation, a show had to go on. But it is in such times you just have to trust yourself and the work you have put in over the years to deliver, which I think I did.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MENTOR?
I guess my fellow peers who I’m surrounded by every day. We have all grown up together in this remarkable and strange world of ballet. I’m constantly amazed by them and they are a constant source of inspiration and energy when you yourself are struggling, exhausted or injured. The day to day grind of working relentlessly in the studio can at times be really hard but it is these inspiring artists around me that push me forward to make me the best possible dancer and artist that I can be.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU WHEN YOU ARE NOT DANCING?
My favorite place to be outside of the stage and the rehearsal room is a place I like to call ‘my church’. It is sitting on the wall at Fairy Bower in Manly. Catching the early morning sun with a strong coffee in hand before jumping off the rocks into the ocean. It is a time to contemplate the day ahead or process and reflect on a performance the night before. After the constant traveling and touring to the most remarkable of places, coming back here still always takes my breath away. It is my little piece of heaven.