Eileen Kramer dances her way to 105
A supplied undated image obtained Friday, November 8, 2019 shows 105-year-old modern dance artist Eileen Kramer posing for a photo in Sydney. (AAP Image/Supplied by Maggie Haertsch, Jacqui Dean)
Centenarian Eileen Kramer has no plans to slow down just yet.
The dancer, who turned 105 on Friday, celebrated her milestone birthday - in a white dress she sewed herself - over lunch at the Art Gallery of NSW.
"I'm surprised - when you're 30 you can't imagine being 105," she told AAP.
"And to tell you the truth, I don't feel very much above that. I'm still working, I'm still getting creative ideas.
"I feel the same as I always feel. It's like the inside of you, your spirit, is always the same."
Ms Kramer, once a member of Bodenwieser Ballet - the first modern dance company in Australia - can still remember her debut performance.
She danced while her brother played music in the backyard of a Mosman home some time around 1922, when she was only eight years old.
"It was my great triumph," Ms Kramer said.
"Performing was just a natural thing for me. Some people's parents teach them, but I taught my parents what I wanted."
Ms Kramer said young dancers seeking to enter the craft should focus on expression as much as technique.
"Technique is great, you need it, but in my training everything we did started with expression," she said.
"My teacher (Austria-born Gertrud Bodenwieser) came out during a big change in art, politics, dance and music - the period of expressionism - and we were fortunate enough to be a member of her company."
Ms Kramer said she would continue her work with Sydney-based filmmaker and choreographer Sue Healey - a dance film titled "Lady of the Horizon" likely to be released in early 2020.
Of retirement she said: "I don't think about that."
The dance legend also had some general tips for those seeking to live a long, healthy life, including eating simply and avoiding stress.
"I've managed to live a way I wanted my whole creative life, so I think that helped," Ms Kramer said.
"I used to smoke but I was never addicted. I don't smoke now - nobody does.
"And I don't drink, except for a glass of wine every now and then.
"I don't have time or the interest in seeking those kinds of stimulations or pleasures."
© AAP 2019