Creative approach to new Arena tour

T *ina Arena *says recent reports pitting her against concert promoters after she announced a self-funded tour were "brutal" and "disrespectful".

Following the success of her turn on Dancing with the Stars and biography release last year, the Australian pop legend recently announced she would be setting off on a national tour in August to complement her latest album, Reset, which was her first original English language release in 12 years.

But this time around Arena said she will be taking "the biggest financial risk" of her career by underwriting the tour from her own pocket, which immediately gave rise to stories suggesting the hitmaker was "cutting out the middle man" and taking control away from her management.

However, Arena tells _Access All Areas _she meant no disrespect to promoters and insists the decision was about having more creative freedom with the shows.

"I think it's very important that people don't misconstrue this because already (the media) is taking liberties they shouldn't," she explains by phone from Melbourne.

"This is not a discrimination (against) promoters - I don't have a problem with promoters. This is not me versus anyone; it's just that we feel this is the time to do things this way.

"I think the other angle is a little bit brutal and disrespectful to the promoters, which is not my point of intention."

Considering many of her performances over the past five years have been set against a backdrop of large orchestras, Arena is excited to have some fun when it comes to the production side of creating a modern pop tour.

She has enlisted acclaimed Canadian concert director *Bruce Ramus *, best known for his work with U2 and David Bowie, to mastermind the visual side of things and has plans for everything from the costumes to the live delivery of her latest songs.

And, of course, there will be dancing.

"I think Dancing with the Stars gave me a bit more confidence in my own body instead of me perpetually doubting myself, which is something that comes with the art," Arena says.

The clarity with which Arena is planning her career from here on is one of the bonuses that comes with being a stalwart of the Australian entertainment industry.

Having been in the public eye since her days as a child star on Young Talent Time in the 1970s, the 46-year-old says her decades of experience have taught her to forget about the opinions of others.

"I don't want to be told after almost 40 years that I have to sing this song or wear this dress," Arena says. "It's just not what I do. There are 20-year-olds that tell people what they want to do and how they want to dress now, let's put things into perspective."

"At the end of the day, you cannot please everyone, it's humanly impossible, so you are better off starting to please yourself."

JESSIE PAPAIN

'At the end of the day, you cannot please everyone, it's humanly impossible.'


The West Australian

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