POPBITE: 6 Questions with Contemporary Dancer, Matthew Koon
Contemporary dancer Matthew Koon was in Singapore recently to perform during Women’s Fashion Week. Matthew first broke into the dance scene for being the first Chinese boy to play the leading role Billy Elliot in the West End production of Billy Elliot: The Musical at the age of 12. Having won the Young Ballet Dancer of the Year award in 2009, he participated in UK reality dance show Got to Dance a year later to rave reviews and an overall third place.
We headed backstage minutes after his stunning performance to find out more about 17-year-old Matthew, his journey on Got To Dance and getting accepted into the English National Ballet School.
Q: Congratulations on your third placing in Got To Dance. From the show, we knew that your parents were not keen on you dancing full-time. How has that changed since you entered the show?
A: The show was a great experience. I grew up a lot on the show and we learnt a lot as a family and myself, as a dancer, about the industry. I’m really grateful for the experience because my parents got to know more about dance and I got to know more about dance. It was just a superb experience.
Q: Did you expect to get accepted into ballet school at this stage in your career?
A: No actually, I’m so grateful to be going to ballet school. I always knew I’d go for auditions at 16 because the school would start training students at that age, so I prepared myself to audition at 16. But I had no idea which school I’d go to and if I’d get in. I’m just really grateful to be going in there and doing something I love everyday.
Q: How do you feel about coming to Singapore to perform at Women’s Fashion Week?
A: Totally unexpected. I’m so honoured to be here. It’s great because bringing dance and fashion together is something new & I’m honoured that the organisers believed I could bring something to the show. That really made me happy.
Q: What one song best expresses your style of dancing?
A: Oh, that’s really hard because I love all genres of music. I love classical music. It’s my passion, because I love classical in ballet: it really goes hand-in-hand. But I also love contemporary classical. I really can’t put it down to one song or one piece of music, because all music put together inspires me.
Q: What was the last song you listened to?
A: (laughs) Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, during my performance on gala night. (Ed’s note: He doesn’t listen to warm-up music before performing.)
Q: Any last words for your supporters?
A: I wanna say thank you to all my supporters thus far, I’m really grateful for the support. Keep watching out for me, I might be doing something new really soon. (Ed’s note: We prodded him further to reveal any upcoming plans but Matthew was tight-lipped about them.)
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