Phoebe Phillips is a young talented dancer who has spent the past six months dancing in Bollywood. At the tender age of 22, Phoebe is mixing with the best in the dance industry and 2014 holds a whole new challenge for the young star.
Brisbane girl Phoebe Phillips has achieved in just 22 years what many of us will struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. Phoebe is following her dream and mixing with some of the biggest talents in her industry.
While studying film and costume design in Hollywood, as well as following her passion to dance, Pheoebe was offered the opportunity to dance in the iconic Bollywood film industry. Phoebe has spent the past six months dancing alongside Bollywood’s best in big budget productions.
Phoebe’s other love is costume design and this young talent has already worked on Katy Perry’s costume team and on costumes for Sean Parker’s elaborate fairy tale wedding.
Now after a successful 2013 including a whirlwind of films, a vogue shoot and much more, Phoebe will soon be touring with the prestigious Circus Tihany as one of 16 international dancers.
We caught up with Phoebe to find out about her career so far, which celebrities she has rubbed shoulders with and what advice she has for young aspiring dancers.
1. What is your favourite style of dance?
I have been trained in all styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary, but my favourite will always be ballet.
2. How did you become involved in Bollywood?
In August I applied and received a contract to dance, act and work in productions both in Bollywood and around India. Before this my only and earliest recollection of Bollywood was dancing around at home as a young girl to the songs in Bride and Prejudice wishing I could be dancing up on the screen!
3. What was it like dancing in Bollywood?
A learning experience! Having worked on Hollywood productions for three years it was interesting to join the biggest movie industry in the world. Things are run much like they are in Hollywood. I was, however, in front of the camera rather than behind where I have been for the past few years.
I got to learn the Bollywood style of dance which is quite easy to adapt to, especially as a trained dancer. However, there were certainly some moves which did not sit so easily on the body and it was difficult at times to adjust to their learning style. I got to dance with some of Bollywood’s biggest stars in film television and live shows. In total I worked on 14 films, seven television episodes, two commercials, one photo shoot for Vogue India and five live shows. The hours were very long and I have eaten a lot of curry and rice.
4. What costumes did you work on for Katy Perry?
I assist her wardrobe team so I am constantly working with all her and her dancer’s costumes.
5. Tell us about working on costumes for Sean Parker’s elaborate wedding?
Wow. The Lord of the Rings costume design team were flown out to design and construct 750 costumes which totalled thousands of pieces. Everything was constructed with the uttermost attention to detail. I was honoured to work with such a team. The best part was the location of the wedding and the world that was created in the forests of Big Sur, California, for this event. It was absolutely surreal like a movie.
6. What will touring with the prestigious Circus Tihany entail?
There are 100 people in the circus and 10 shows per week. It is touring South America, but the current leg of the tour is throughout Brazil. It seats just over 2000 people per show and we move to a new location every four to five weeks. I will be one of the 16 dancers in the show which are from all around the world.
7. What has been your career highlight so far?
I’m not sure I can pin an exact moment as there are many which I am left standing thinking, “Is this really my life?”. The first job I worked on when I moved to Los Angeles at age 18 were the Scream Awards, a show to recognise films in the horror, sci fi and fantasy genres. Having had background working on costumes at the Queensland Ballet, I spent six days working on a modernised version of the Black Swan tutu, with a corset that was completely spiked by hand and weighed 11kg. Seeing that up on the stage was quite an achievement. I also would say working with Katy Perry when she came to do the Australian leg of her tour. It was an achievement working with her on home soil!
8. What celebrities have you met?
In Hollywood, Katy Perry, Marilyn Manson, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Jennifer Hudson, Jodie Foster, Nicholas Sparks and Mickey Rourke. In Bollywood, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.
9. At 22 years-old you are still so young but have achieved so much, what advice would you give to young girls wanting to be successful dancers/costume makers?
Don’t make things complicated. If you want something to happen, make it happen. If you want to do it, do it. There is always a way, you just have to envision it and find it. Stick to your morals and stay humble. Do what you are told. There is always someone who knows more than you and who can teach you. So listen and absorb everything.
Interested in successful dancers? Find out about Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin and his plans for 2014.