David McAllister receives RAD award

David McAllister receives RAD award

During The Friends farewell event to David McAllister on Wednesday 28 April, David was surprised when the event took a turn and became “David McAllister: This Is Your Life”.

Celebrating David McAllister AM was a joyous occasion including many special moments. The day of tribute culminated in the Royal Academy of Dance bestowing the internationally coveted Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award upon David McAllister AM in a touching ceremony.

“David McAllister: This Is Your Life” was hosted by Elizabeth Toohey, current Ballet Mistress of The Australian Ballet and long-term dance partner and close personal friend of David’s. Elizabeth delighted David with a line-up of guests either in person or by video who recounted charming and cheeky stories from David’s extraordinary career.

They included Don McAllister (David’s father) and Dianne Morris (David’s sister); Darren Spowart (an ex-dancer of The Australian Ballet and childhood friend of David); Maina Gielgud AO (former Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet and Ballet Director); Ian McRae AO and Richard Evans (past General Managers of The Australian Ballet); Graeme Murphy AO and Janet Vernon AM (internationally renowned Australian dance choreographers); and Wesley Enoch AM (David’s partner and outgoing Director of the Sydney Festival); followed by a message of Farewell from the Company (The Australian Ballet at Sydney Opera House).

The biggest surprise of the event was the presentation to David of the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, recognised internationally as one of the most sought-after in the world of dance and the highest honour from the Royal Academy of Dance. Bestowed in recognition of David’s dedication to The Australian Ballet for 40 years and for his wider contributions to the world of ballet including the Royal Academy of Dance where, in 2005, he was elected Vice President. Past recipients of the Award have included Sir Frederick Ashton, Dame Marie Rambert DBE, Rudolf Nureyev, Dame Gillian Lynne DBE, Sir Peter Wright CBE, Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, Maina Gielgud AO and Carlos Acosta CBE.

The Award was presented by Dame Darcey Bussell DBE and Audrey Nicholls OAM FRAD on behalf of the Royal Academy of Dance.  Bussell is widely acclaimed as one of the great British ballerinas, having been a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet and guest artist with many leading companies around the world including The Australian Ballet. She retired from ballet in 2007, is a former judge of BBC TV dance contest Strictly Come Dancing and President of the Royal Academy of Dance. Dame Darcey said “I am absolutely thrilled that David is receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, the highest honour the Royal Academy of Dance can bestow, given in recognition of outstanding service to the art of dance.”

This joyous celebrating of David also raised over $100,000 for the McAllister Fund, ensuring David’s legacy of generosity will continue well into the future.

David spoke with ABC Radio National’s Fran Kelly about the award and what it means to him. Listen here.

 

New York Dialects | Cast List

New York Dialects | Cast List

New York Dialects Final Dress Rehearsal | Monday 5 April | Cast List

SERENADE
Amber Scott  Ako Kondo  Nicola Curry

Ty King-Wall  Jarryd Madden

Yuumi Yamada  Corey Herbert  Imogen Chapman  Jill Ogai

Artists of The Australian Ballet

WATERMARK 
Shaun Andrews
Nathan Brook
Daniel Bryne
Imogen Chapman
Timothy Coleman
Adam Elmes
Rohan Furnell
Thomas Gannon
Benjamin Garrett
Drew Hedditch
Alain Juelg
Brodie James
Callum Linnane
Luke Marchant
Coco Mathieson
George-Murray Nightingale
Jill Ogai
Lucien Xu

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Theme
Jacqueline Clark and Luke Marchant

Ingrid Gow and Joseph Romancewicz

Robyn Hendricks and Adam Bull

First Variation: Melancholic
Chengwu Guo
Yuumi Yamada  Aya Watanabe
Jasmin Durham  Lisa Craig  Sophie Morgan  Evie Ferris

Second Variation: Sanguinic
Benedicte Bemet and Brett Chynoweth
Lilla Harvery  Lilly Maskery  Karina Arimura  Montana Rubin

Third Variation: Phlegmatic
Callum Linnane
Larissa Kiyoto-Ward  Belle Urwin Katherine Sonnekus  Sara Andrlon

Fourth Variation: Choleric
Amy Harris

With artists of The Australian Ballet

Ballet in Lockdown

Ballet in Lockdown

With March marking a year since the world went into lockdown and the cancellation of so many performances, we wanted to share some of our favourite ballet moments and look back at some of the ingenious ways dancers continued to perform.

Organized by Misty Copeland and Joseph Phillips Swans for Relief features 32 premier ballerinas from 22 dance companies in 14 countries perform Le Cygne (The Swan) variation sequentially with music by Camille Saint-Saëns, performed by cellist Wade Davis.

The funds raised through this project were distributed to each dancer’s company’s COVID-19 relief fund.

Cinderella Games is the third original dance film directed and choreographed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple – known collectively as Jess and Morgs – for the English National Ballet. 

The film takes inspiration from Christopher Wheeldon’s production of Cinderella, yet imagines the fairy-tale with an alternate ending: after the ball the real Cinderella was never found, and instead a sinister game show now exists in which contestants compete for its title.

Shot in the spectacular locations of the Royal Albert Hall and Kempton Steam Museum, the ENB recruited 35 inter-generational participants from a range of dance backgrounds to work alongside professional performers, Chihiro Kawasaki and Matthew Hawkins, giving them the opportunity to experience life on a professional film set, and to be involved in a ground-breaking dance for the camera project.

Message of support and thanks from the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet

The Dutch National Ballet and G-Star RAW join forces for a unique collaboration in which social distancing is visualised in a compelling way. 

In this choreography by Remi Wörtmeyer you see Kira Hilli dancing with an impressive 3-meter wide denim tutu. Together with Manu Kumar, she dances in the streets of Amsterdam and in the empty theatre on the music of Joris Voorn and Het Balletorkest

Orchestrated by Corey Baker for the BBC, elite dancers from across the globe create a modern-day Swan Lake from their own bathtub.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous swan theme, 27 ballet dancers from renowned dance companies across the globe perform a modern-day Swan Lake from their own home (filled) baths.

Swan Lake Bath Ballet was choreographed, filmed and post-produced completely remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. The quirky choreography was performed in baths from New Zealand to South Africa, America to Hong Kong, Australia to the UK

A beautiful compilation video of the Gently Quietly Project organised by the Dutch National Ballet

Peter Leung, young creative associate at Dutch National Ballet and filmmaker Altin Kaftira, created eleven short dance videos recorded at various deserted outdoor locations in Amsterdam during the lockdown.

And last but not least, from our own Australian Ballet, Wilis in Corps-en-tine.

The wilis are home in quarantine, but they’re getting mad together, corps-de-ballet style. Created by artists of The Australian Ballet while the Company was in lockdown last year, this is skit is Giselle as you’ve never seen it.

Ballet is better with Friends

Andrew Killian and Kevin Jackson Announce Retirement

Andrew Killian and Kevin Jackson Announce Retirement

Andrew Killian and Kevin Jackson, two of The Australian Ballet’s much-loved Principal Artists have announced they will be leaving the Company.

Joining The Company in 2000, Andrew was made a Principal Artist in 2011. Across his eclectic career he has danced lead roles in countless ballets, including Manon, Nijinsky, Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker, both Stephen Baynes and Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, and Murphy’s Romeo & Juliet. Andrew was also involved in the creation of many new works including Baynes’ Constant Variants and Tim Harbour’s Wa and has performed in the majority of The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque seasons. Andrew has toured with The Australian Ballet to Auckland, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris.

I have known Andy personally since I first came to Melbourne in 2010 and have always admired his ease of dancing and approach to work. Nothing was ever too much to take on. A consummate team player, one committed to the glory and uniqueness of this company, Andy has always been ‘one’ with his colleagues. I know he will be missed within the ranks
– David Hallberg

 

Kevin joined slightly after Andrew in 2003 and was promoted to Principal Artist in 2020. In his time with the Company, he has performed lead roles in classical and contemporary works by choreographers including John Neumeier, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jiří Kylián and Graeme Murphy. He was chosen to create the lead male roles in David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty and Lucas Jervies’ Spartacus. Outside of The Australian Ballet, Kevin has accepted invitations to guest with some of the world’s other leading companies, such as American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Ballet.

‘Kevin is a soulfully deep artist; one that touched his audiences and colleagues with intense interpretations of the vast array of repertoire that The Australian Ballet offered him. . .Kevin immersed himself in the complex roles, going to an artistic place that required every bit of him. He spared nothing. He gave everything. This is the true sign of an artist; the devotional commitment to any role. Behind the scenes, he was as warm a colleague as any: devoted on stage, but human off it’
– David Hallberg

Ballet is better with Friends

5 Reasons to see New York Dialects

5 Reasons to see New York Dialects

With New York Dialects now on sale here are 5 reasons why you should be buying tickets to The Australian Ballet’s 2021 return to the Sydney Opera House.

#1 – First performance back in Sydney 


New York Dialects will be the Ballet’s first season in Sydney in over a year and a half! The last time The Australian Ballet was in town was December 2019 with perennial favourite The Nutcracker: The Story of Clara. After so long away from the city, it is going to be truly extraordinary to be watching the dancers take to the stage at the Opera House. 

#2 – David Hallberg’s first program as Artist Director

As well as being the Company’s first performance back in Sydney, New York Dialects will also be the city’s first introduction to David Hallberg as Artistic Director.

This triple bill is his first program to be staged in Sydney and will set out his vision for the future of the Company. New York Dialects also features David Hallberg’s first commissioned work for The Australian Ballet – Pam Tanowitz’s New Work. 

#3 Pam Tanowitz 

Pam Tanowitz is a critically acclaimed New York choreographer. She has created work for The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Pam’s work is known for its abstract treatment of classical and contemporary movement ideas and structures as she encourages the viewer to see through to the heart of dance.

As David Hallberg says,‘she is one of our generation’s most intelligent creators: focused, insightful and original, just as Balachine was.’ 

#4 The Company 

After being off the stage for 11 months, New York Dialects is a program that will let the all the dancers of the Company shine. With the beauty and elegance of the female corps de ballet in Balanchine’s Serenade perfectly complimenting Tanowitz’s New Work which has been created specifically for the male dancers of the Company.   

 

#5 – The music 

New York Dialects is a program for musiclovers. The simplicity and purity of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C will open the program. While Paul Hindemith’s composition for The Four Temperaments perfectly explores the moods Balanchine wanted to affect, the Watermark concerto from Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw extends Tanowitz’s New Work.

Tickets for The Friends of The Australian Ballet New York Dialects Dress Rehearsal are on sale now