The Good Book

Davide Di Giovanni on Artistic Movement

Davide Di Giovanni is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer and movement director. He is part of our second campaign, bringing to life personal narratives and human touch.

Beginning his career in Florence at Scuola del Balletto di Toscana at 17, at 23 he moved to Munich and worked for the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. Davide joined Sydney Dance Company in 2017.

Today, Davide is the Artistic Director of New Old Now (NON), leading the emerging artistic collective. Informed by a desire to explore the boundaries of contemporary performance and challenge systemic norms within the dance community, NON embraces the beauty of the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable and the subversive. Through creative collaboration, site specific performance and a company of best-in-class dancers, NON brings new life, new art, and ultimately, new stories to the Australian dance community and beyond.


Tell us about New Old Now, the concept and how it came to be?

The new, the old and the now come together to form our vision for NON. We believe true artistic movement must reflect and challenge the world we live in today while also drawing physical and philosophical learnings from our myriad histories. NON exists as a meditation on the breadth of human experience, the power of connection, and the uncertainty of life; isn’t it beautiful when we don’t know, but we can imagine?



Where do you draw inspiration from?

I normally start from an image or a piece of music that inspires me. I immediately work on searching for movement that mimics that vibe in my head, and also a harmony that makes me feel good. I have a strong belief in ballet and technique, so most of my work requires strong technique. However, the most major line of inspiration is cinematography. I grew up watching very good directors, and I always see dance as an extension of photography and film. But I also look back at my favourite choreographers of the past and try to learn from their visions. It is another element of inspiration.



Which artists have had the greatest influence on you?

Jiri Kylian, a Czech Choreographer. Classical and more contemporary music such as Chopin, Scriabin, Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone.



What does movement mean to you?

It means expressing my thoughts and dreams with the use of the body and connecting our mind to each muscle, nerve and part of the body. It's about using the body as an instrument to speak to the world - I guess like a violin or a piano.





You push your body to its limits, what does performance and recovery look like for you and why is it so important?

I believe that with a good dance education and an understanding that the body is an important machine to be moved and challenged, we can achieve the most. Recovery after a show is very important but mostly it is important to approach the performance in the right way and with the right knowledge of technique and movement.




When it comes to physical fitness, what does your routine look like? How do you prepare your body for performance?

Ballet is the most complete and important thing to start the day with. A ballet class includes everything dancers need to practise to keep fit, strong and harmonious. It is probably one thing I will never remove from my routine.



NON exists as a meditation on the breadth of human experience, the power of connection, and the uncertainty of life; isn’t it beautiful when we don’t know, but we can imagine?



Do you follow any wellness practices?

When I lived in Germany and in Munich I practised the cold/hot shock technique in saunas. I would sit in 90 degrees and then lay in the snow outside. It was very powerful and energising. This is harder to do in Australia, but I feel jumping in the ocean has the same feeling, and I do it almost every day.



What is your philosophy of health and wellbeing?

I feel each one of us has to find a practice in life that makes the body and mind feel alive. When I dance or train with ballet and movement in general I feel alive and energised. This is my philosophy and I believe everyone has a different road to follow. It is important to find one.


Your morning rituals… 

When it’s not too cold, I love waking up and jumping in the ocean. I like treating my skin with a series of products both on my face and body, and when I feel fresh and awake I like walking my dog along the beach to connect with nature.



And your evening rituals…

I treat my skin again before bed, and dedicate 30 minutes to reading, or when I have more time, I’ll watch a movie by myself. I have a long list of movies and books I’m forever adding to.



What's always in your fridge?

Onions, garlic, eggs. The rest come along with those ingredients.



What does beauty mean to you?

Feeling good and alive. Having a dream and a vision. But also having personal style.



How does your lifestyle influence your work?

As an Artist I don’t think I could ever separate my life to my work. They need to be together and constantly influencing each other. I like following things that come my way, people and places  that I can put into my work.



What is your favourite sound of nature?

Water, and the leaves of the trees moving with the wind.



When do you feel your highest self?

During a performance. Dancing.