Cape Town - Canadian dancer Josh Beamish is in Cape Town to perform Pierced, his latest full-length ballet, at the Baxter Dance Festival this weekend. He is based in New York but dances all over the world.
How widely have you travelled?
I’ve been to China, Dubai, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. I’ve also travelled the majority of Canada and the US.
Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?
Highlights are my love-at-first-sight first trips to Montreal in Canada, New York (before I lived there), Stockholm, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and any time I’ve spent in Thailand. My favourite working vacation was my first trip to Cape Town in January. Beautiful beaches, great food, and talented, dedicated dance students made for the perfect combination of work and pleasure.
Your worst experience on a holiday?
I was followed by a vagabond in New Delhi, India. He had painted a wound on his head to make it appear as though he was bleeding, as a means of soliciting money. He relentlessly followed me, one step behind, for blocks and blocks.
Your funniest experience?
When I was in Belgium I discovered this small university town named Leuven, not far from Brussels. It was adorably quaint with great architecture, shops and sweets. After consulting a map made by locals we came across this roasted chicken cafe in a hole in the wall. All you can get there is a whole roasted chicken stuffed with rosemary, and brown bread slices.
The elderly man who runs the place is notoriously icy but the heavenly food made the place legendary.
What do you avoid during a holiday?
I almost never do anything where you need to stand in line. There are so many hidden treasures that you can find while everyone else is busy waiting to experience what they’ve already seen in movies and postcards.
Best meal abroad?
Impossible to answer but I’ll try. Every meal at Ao Nang Boat Noodle in Ao Nang, Thailand; a fish and black olive mash dish that I had at a winery in Franschhoek; every pastry, cookie or dessert I had in Stockholm and Copenhagen; that infamous Rosemary Chicken in Leuven, Belgium; the cranberry-avocado-turkey burger at Grill’d in Melbourne, Australia; the peanut butter ice cream at Clarke’s in Cape Town and the salted caramel ice cream at Molly Moon’s in Seattle.
I have to stop. I’m getting hungry for things I shouldn’t be eating.
Your favourite place to have sundowners on your travels?
Anywhere in the world as long as I’m with a French man.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I’ve learned a lot about the world and gained valuable insight into how people live and what motivates them on a global scale. I’ve witnessed how we are the same and how we’re different, but mostly I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve found travelling has opened my eyes, tested my morals and boundaries and enabled me to acknowledge freedom and loneliness in equal measure.
Ideal travelling companion?
One of my best friends, and my company’s principal dancer, Heather Dotto. We are both extraordinarily easy-going and like to go with the flow.
Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I prefer to experience cities as if I live in them. I probably won’t go to the museums but I will go to the ballet. I will quickly find my favourite espresso bar and frequent it multiple times daily. I’m a Taurus. I make myself at home.
Greatest travel luxury?
My iPhone and Starbucks and McDonalds free wi-fi.
I’m not much of a reader. I prefer listening to music and walking around cities and towns.
My home province of British Columbia, Vancouver Island, through the Okanagan Valley, on the Queen Charlotte Islands and in the Rocky Mountains.
I’m dying to go to Italy and Greece.
As a seasoned traveller and flyer can you share some tips?
Be open to whatever comes your way. You can learn more from people than you can from monuments. Make local friends because it’s the fastest way to fall in love with a city. - Weekend Argus