Much-loved Australian Ballet principal dancer Ty King-Wall is retiring from the Company when Anna Karenina finishes in Sydney.
Ty began dancing aged seven in his native New Zealand. He joined the Australian Ballet in 2006 and rose quickly through the ranks to be made a soloist in 2010, senior artist in 2011 and principal artist in 2013. When he suffered a chronic back injury at the age of 27, he questioned if he would ever dance again.
“To be able to perform a principal role in a full-length ballet is incredibly demanding. I’m still able to achieve that, but it’s becoming harder and harder. I can see the point where I won’t be able to do it, and it’s like an oncoming train, to reference Anna Karenina. I wanted to stop before I was over the other side of that.”
Ty also sites fatherhood as a key reason he’s decided to hang up his ballet shoes. He and wife Amber Scott, also a principal dancer with the Company, have two children: Bonnie, three, and Marion, who was born six weeks ago.
Ty and Amber plan to launch a coaching residency and clinic later this year in Melbourne, offering one-on-one classes for upcoming dancers.
Ty is currently dancing the role of Vronsky in the much anticipated production of Anna Karenina, with his last performance on April 23.
During the curtain call for the opening night of The Australian Ballet’s Sydney season of Anna Karenina, David Hallberg announced the winners of the The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards.
Soloist Rina Nemoto took out the $25,000 Telstra Rising Star Award, in recognition of her exceptional talent outstanding achievements and bright future, while corps de ballet dancer Lilly Maskery was awarded the Telstra People’s Choice Award.
Rina was born in Tokyo, Japan, and began dancing at the age of three. When she was 15, she travelled to Paris for two years of classical ballet training with Daini Kudo and Dominique Khalfouni. In 2009, she was awarded a Prix de Lausanne scholarship and joined The Royal Ballet as an apprentice dancer. In 2011, she joined The Australian Ballet, where she was promoted to coryphée in 2016 and to soloist in 2018.
Lilly was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She began dance classes at the age of three, training at the Philippa Campbell School of Ballet and then The Australian Ballet School. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2020.
The winner of the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are based on their contributions both on and off the stage. The Rising Star Award is chosen by a panel of judges, while the People’s Choice Award is chosen by a public vote. This year more than 170,000 people voted.
About Rina and Lilly, Hallberg said: “In my short time as Artistic Director of this company I have watched both Rina and Lilly grow as artists, showing that the combination of individuality and hard work truly do pay off. I know this recognition will surely give them the deserved spotlight for them to shine in. I would also like to take this moment to thank Telstra for supporting The Australian Ballet and the talent that they spotlight. It is encouraging for all of us here to know we are aligned in nurturing the talent within The Australian Ballet.”
The other nominees were corps de ballet dancers Adam Elmes and Thomas Gannon, and coryphée Lucien Xu.