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.
During the curtain call of the opening night of Anna Karenina in Melbourne, David Hallberg announced the promotion of Callum Linnane from Senior to Principal Artist.
About Callum’s promotion David said ‘When hard work, focus and passion come together, it can be an undeniable combination. This is what Callum embodies as a dancer and I am thrilled that he has been named Principal Artist of The Australian Ballet. I cannot wait for audiences to see Callum soar to new heights as he embarks on the ascent of a true artist.’
Linnane was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in 2008 and graduated dux with honours. He joined The Australian Ballet in 2015; he was promoted to coryphée in 2017 to soloist in 2018 and to senior artist in 2021.
The Australian Ballet has announced that Artistic Director David Hallberg will join the Company on stage in a series of special guest appearances for their production of Kunstkamer. A landmark production for The Australian Ballet, Kunstkamer is one of the most ambitious contemporary dance productions ever undertaken by the Company.
Kunstkamer was originally developed for the pioneering dance company Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in celebration of its 60th anniversary, by some of the most notable choreographers working today: former NDT House Choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and NDT Associate Choreographers Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite. This will be the first time the ballet has been performed outside of The Netherlands.
David Hallberg says that “…Kunstkamer will show audiences what else is possible in dance, seen through the most modern and compelling form of expression.”
David is scheduled to appear as a guest artist in the following performances in Sydney:
Friday 29 April 7.30pm, Saturday 30 April 7.30pm, Tuesday 3 May 7.30pm, Wednesday 4 May 7.30pm, Friday 6 May 7.30pm, Saturday 7 May 7.30pm, Monday 9 May 7.30pm, Wednesday 11 May 7.30pm, Friday 13 May 7.30pm, and Saturday 14 May 7.30pm.
Tickets for the final dress rehearsal of Kunstkamer on Thursday 28 April are still available! For more information and to book, click here.
With Anna Karenina finally open in Melbourne and soon due to arrive in Sydney, here are five reasons why you need to see this not to be missed co-production from The Australian Ballet and Joffrey Ballet.
PASSION TO MOVE YOU
The story of Anna, whose life-destroying desire for the handsome and faithless Vronsky is palpable through a series of rapturous pas de deux.
Soloist Imogen Chapman who is dancing the role of Anna says “You really get taken on that journey with Anna and Vronsky. I feel like audiences will really relate to that, and go on this journey with the characters,”
Robyn Hendricks and Callum Linnane, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
GLAMOUR AND GRANDEUR
The costumes by veteran theatre designer Tom Pye capture the elegance of Imperial Russian society with luxurious fabrics and jewel tones.
A BALLET LIKE A MOVIE
Chicago’s PBS station, WWTW, called Possokhov’s Anna Karenina “A magnificent classical ballet in the guise of a great work of modern cinema.” Pye’s opulent yet minimal sets and projections by Finn Ross (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) – which include footage of the dancers taken backstage in real time – conjure ballrooms, bedrooms, a race track and that fateful train station, lending a filmic scale and atmosphere to this immersive piece of theatre.
Robyn Hendricks and Callum Linnane, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Teaming up with the Joffrey Ballet to co-produce Anna Karenina meant that the ballet could have specially commissioned music by multi-award-winning composer Ilya Demutsky. Inspired by Tolstoy, Demutsky has created a sweeping, textured score with all the scale and grandeur of his countrymen Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. A mezzo soprano will appear at key moments to amplify Anna’s emotion through song.
THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME
A very human heroine, Anna holds our sympathy even as she flounders into disaster. She adores, she suffers, she is torn between her life and the love of her life – no wonder actors from Greta Garbo to Vivien Leigh to Keira Knightly have been attracted to the role. We can’t wait to see our brilliant dancers embody Anna.
Robyn Hendricks as Anna, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Tickets for final dress rehearsal performance of Anna Karenina on Monday 4 April at the Sydney Opera House are available now. Click here to secure yours.
The Australian Ballet and Telstra have announced the names of the five members of the company nominated for this year’s Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards.
Selected by The Ballet’s artistic team, dancers and previous winners, the 2022 nominees are: Thomas Gannon (Corps de Ballet), Adam Elmes (Corps de Ballet), Lilly Maskery (Corps de Ballet), Rina Nemoto (Soloist) and Lucien Xu (Coryphée.) The winners of the awards will be announced at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday 5 April 2022, following the Sydney opening night of The Australian Ballet’s production of Anna Karenina.
The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards, comprising two separate awards, have become a much sought-after prize, with ten former winners going on to become Principal Artists with TAB. The Telstra Rising Star Award, chosen by a panel of judges from The Ballet and Telstra, which has a cash prize of $25,000; while the Telstra People’s Choice Award, chosen by a public online vote, has a prize of $15,000.
To learn more about each nominee, and vote for your favourite in the Telstra People’s Choice Award, click here.