All too often time and distance mean interviews have to be done over the phone. You do learn a lot listening to the tone, the phrasing, the background noise, the pauses and breaths someone takes as they’re thinking. It focuses your senses. You have to extrapolate every detail you can.
By contrast, when you meet someone in person there is an overwhelming quantity of detail to take in. The atmosphere of the location, the way someone moves through a space and reacts to their environment. When talking to a dancer it seems even more important to meet them in person, to see the way they move and how they express themselves through their body. It’s intrinsic to who they are.
The article has now gone up on the Australia Council’s Artery website today. The link is http://artery.australiacouncil.gov.au/2013/02/fellows-focus-lee-serle/