Madeline Harms
Madeline Harms

Madeline Harms

Aus dem Leben einer professionellen Tänzerin

Can you tell us something about yourself, maybe you want to include a Fun Fact?

I am from Australia, I went to Europe when I was 18 straight after high school. I went to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, I studied in the University there. I was based there for 4 years and then I went to Mainz. Uhm… a Fun-Fact… I have a Twin brother, and I have a sister that also lives in Germany.

What do you do to get into Character and what does the whole process look like?

It really depends on the production, in tanzmainz we do four or five shows a year. In some roles you demand a different physicality than in other roles. In Sphynx for example it requires a lot of improvisation. One of the tasks are dodging or flying objects coming towards us, so we have to go out of the way. As a warmup for this, we will warm up this task in our minds and bodies so that we are ready to perform on stage. 

In Soul Chain I had to be kind of calm before the Show. I warmed myself up physically, especially the legs. I had to be focused and sensitive of the colleagues around me.

“Do not only practice your Art but force your way into its secrets” a part of a quote I found online if we understood it right you wrote it yourself.

I can`t believe that is still up. But it quite nice designated with me, especially in the beginning years of my career because it meant for me that art is a way of process and u can find yourself in that but also have something frown upon you and you have to adapt to that. You find yourself in it no matter what. And I found that very much in tanzmainz because we have so many choreographers it is your responsibility as an artist or dancer to find yourself within the work, no matter what that work might be. 

What did you give up to being a professional dancer?

I think being a professional dancer but also a professional of every kind that requires to leave home is also something that sits kind of deeply with you. I left home quite young, and I found home in Europe again. I definitely moved far of my family. I thought it would get easier as I got older, but it actually just gets worse. And especially with the pandemic I haven’t been home for almost three years.

So, this is my next goal, to just be at home for a while. But with everything you give up you always gain something else. I gained a very rich experience in Europe amongst different cultures, different people, different systems…Luckily there is the internet, so I speak to my family on a regular basis. I just don’t see them physically.

What was your biggest disappointment and biggest success in your dance career?

In the beginning of my career, in my early twenties, I had a lot of No’s . I had a lot of auditions, always getting there but never getting the yes for the job. But it made me want more or made me look for it in a different way. It all lead to something else. I got the yes very unexpectedly with tanzmainz.

I also think they were some choreographers that were disappointed in a way that they were in the studio perhaps it wasn’t artistically fulfilling as I would have liked. But again, its hard to say it was a disappointment because in the end there is always something you need to take from it. 

My biggest success is to be dancing at 30 and to be as physically capable and able as I am. And it also has to do with the success of tanzmainz I feel like this company and my colleagues are also my biggest success.

Like we already heard, you dance since you are young, so I wanted to ask if you are still nervous when you go on stage?

IIt depends on the piece. For sure I get nervous before a show, but quite quickly I distract myself with the task of the performance. But for example in the production of Soul Chain I performed in my first season here and I performed it ever since. It is my fifth season basically and I am still nervous going on stage because it always changes. I just deal with nervousness differently. I use it as a force, rather than a fear.

Do you have a favorite play you performed and if so why exactly that one?

At the moment I am loving sphynx. Because it has so much play on stage so that every performance can be different. It has a structure, so its not like that you come to the piece, and you see a whole other play. 

What do you after your dancing career? How important is a second source of income?

Its interesting because you always know that it will come. But when you are in your twenties you think it is 10 years away. But I arrived, I’m thirty, so I have to think about it. I always was interested in physical science and bodies so I also was interested into restudy physical therapy. I might still stay in the arts by working with athletes. But I recently started teaching, and I really enjoy it. So I would like to continue that to. I definitely use the tools and experience I use of my dance career. 

About my second source of income…It is interesting because when I pursued this passion, it was not something that is on your mind, you don’t want to earn money with this. I think saving, also during your dance career is really important. Young dancers tend to not talk about it, but you should.

What advice would you give to young people that dream of becoming a dancer?

Never lose the Fun. That is something we need, and what we started for. And along the way, for me especially, the success overtook what I thought. Like my original passion for it, the fun, the enjoyment. Fun can also mean that it is emotional and hard it doesn’t mean you don’t touch difficult objects.

Thank you so much for your honest answers and time, Madeline! It was an inspirational conversation. You are a lovely person, and we are looking forward to see you in a show soon. 😊

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