An Interview with Andrew Corbett
A brief talk with dancer Andrew Corbett reveals a rather quiet and private man who likes the calm of sitting on a beach and exploring designer hotels with his partner Lawrence Hurwitz. The darkly handsome 26-year-old Corbett (who reminds me of Marlon Brando) is 5 foot 10 1/2 inches and has a lanky easy-moving grace that shows even when just walking across the plaza at the Los Angeles Music Center. Starting right off with the basics I asked him:
AC: I'm from North England, Chester. I was actually born in Southern England, Exeter. Moved up to North Wales and that's where my parents (Julianna and Roy) are. My mother is Maltese. Got a bit of a Mediterranean English thing about me.
LH: Being 26 puts you about in the middle age-wise in the company?
AC: Yes, pretty much. There is a group of people of people between 22 - 26 and then late 20' and early 30's.
LH: So how long how have you been dancing?
AC: Professionally I have been dancing for nearly eight- nine years.
LH: And how old were you when you started.
AC: I was nine years old.
LH: So you took ballet first?:
AC: Actually I took a modern jazz class first. I took two of those classes. And then I went straight into ballet class. And studied ballet.
AC: At the Royal Ballet.
LH: Ah, one of those guys.
AC: (Laughing) One of the Royal Ballet boys.
LH: Did you like it?
AC: It was an experience.
LA: How old were you when you went?
AC: I was 16. (Big pause) It was an experience. Great to see the professionals of the company and everything. But the whole - the regime of the school was a bit, well - it wasn't catered for students of 16 - they were quite aggressive to people and instead of encouraging you they would put you down. Survival of the fittest, put it that way, that's what it was like.
LH: Is that the reason you got out of ballet?
AC: No, that's not the reason why. When I left the Royal I did ballet for quite awhile and then I decided I wanted to do something different. Cause you know, often with ballet you spend the first couple of years of your professional life doing nothing. You tend to just stand around on stage. I was lucky, I did do certain things, but I am one of these very very impatient persons - I need to get out and do something else. I went from one company to the other and then I signed on in 1996 and that was it -stayed here every since. (With AMP)
AC: We've done three big shows. We've done Swan Lake, Cinderella, and Car Man. Swan Lake - the last National and European tour, I did the casting and was rehearsal director for that show. And I also played the lead, the part of the Prince, in that show.
And so I did - well I have actually I have done every role in that show apart from the lead swan. I have done the Prince and all the other 14 swans. I originally joined AMP as a swing and I ended up doing every single role.
LH: What is a swing?
AC: A swing is someone who has to be on stand-by to do any role if anybody goes off. It's quite stressful but I had a knack for it apparently. Matt said I could learn all the roles quite quickly so - I just did it all and it was good, yeh. We went to Europe with it. Did the managerial side and got to be the Prince. It was great. And hopefully it is coming back again next year. So I might get to do it again.
LH: 2003 I think? I've heard talk about 03.
AC: Well 03 in Japan. We got told we'll rehearse in September next year. So I think I might like to do it again.
LA: What do you do when you are not dancing? What do you do for fun?
AC: We travel big time. We're big big travelers. I mean, me and Lawrence, when we have break we will go where ever. Lawrence travels every two weeks basically. Whether to come see me or to go see family. We go everywhere. We are always on planes.
- An Auto-Erotic Thriller -
- Talk about the show -
All photos copyright 2001 Lara Hartley unless noted otherwise
All contributions as noted in each feature.