Mitch Woodcock – CHOREOGRAPHER PACHA SYDNEY

Published on 11th Feb, 2013

Australia’s first and only ‘PACHA’ is taking over Sydney’s Ivy every Saturday night. Far more than your average night club, Pacha Sydney is a mad world of burlesque, circus, dance and a tantalizing tease of the imagination.

The PACHA brand of nightclub entertainment has been slowly taking over the world’s top playgrounds of revelers since the late 1960s. Once PACHA arrived in Ibiza in 1973, the brand was ‘born’, developing with time, trends and fashions into an extravagance of nightlife entertainment beyond compare.

Since its opening last November, the PACHA Sydney creative team, led by the enigmatic Ignatius Jones and Craig Ilot, has masterminded a weekly serving of unique performances involving a kaleidoscope of dance, theatrics, music, lighting and exquisite costumes. Each awe-inspiring performance involves a company of professional dancers drawn exclusively from Sydney’s Jeep Management, together with aerialists and street performers who occupy the surrounding laneways and inhabit the Ivy’s four levels of hedonistic activity. Combined with the magnitude of a two-storey high LED screen, world class DJ’s, and state-of-the-art light-show, PACHA delivers an opulent nightclub experience on a grand scale.

At the heart of the creative team, Sydney dancer Mitchell Woodcock (see right) has taken the reigns as resident Choreographer for PACHA. We had a chat to Mitch recently to ask him how he landed this amazing role at such a young age and what it’s like working for such an internationally recognised brand.

What can you tell us about the new PACHA venture?

“For the last 3 months I have been working with an incredible team of people creating four new shows at the Ivy which rotate every Saturday night. Every show captures a different theme and story which Directors Ignatius Jones and Craig Ilot have come up with so spectacularly. My role as a choreographer has been to bring their ideas to life working with a wonderful cast of seven dancers and five aerialists. This is unlike any other choreographic role that I have had. Each weekend is a stage spectacle that Wow’s the crowd week after week.”

How did the position of ‘choreographer’ come about for you?

“Through representation of Jeep Management I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to put together a choreography submission piece which was sent to the directors Ignatius Jones and Craig Ilot. From there we had a series of meetings where we discussed what the job entailed and what I thought I could bring to the table. I was given the opportunity to then bring their ideas to the stage week after week.”

What do you love about the work?

“I would have to say the flexibility I have had within my creative decisions as a choreographer and not a dancer have been a highlight for me, and having the opportunity to transition from my last role as a performer in the musical ‘Wicked’ to choreographing for Pacha has been a great honour. As my colleagues and friends would know I am a slight perfectionist and control freak so I do love to see my choreographic ideas come to life. Pacha has given me an outlet to bring forward these ideas, on a much larger scale than I would normally expect, but an amazing opportunity nonetheless.”

How did you select the dancers?

“Finding the right dancers is always very challenging. Some people may think it’s easy: “… you just hire the BEST dancers …!” However there are a number of factors that you need to take into account. Obviously dance style and execution is one thing, however they really need to exude the passion and fire that Pacha represents, and they need to be able to interact with the crowd and create that incredible atmosphere that most people associate with Pacha. Performance and acting skills are essential. Without doubt reliability, professionalism and respect is a must.”

What’s in store for Mitchell Woodcock for the rest of 2013?
“Working on PACHA and also choreographing the Premiere of Les Miserables back in December has given me a great insight into the choreographic world which I have always loved and had a passion for since the age of 12. Although I want to continue choreographing I am most definitely not ruling out performing. I endeavour to work both nationally and internationally on future projects.”


For more information on PACHA Sydney, visit the website here


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