After the sad news that The Australian Ballet are postponing their Melbourne season of New York Dialects, Artistic Director David Hallberg has made an exciting announcement.
Together with Telstra, The Australian Ballet are creating the Telstra Emerging Choreographer (TEC) award, a new pathway for emerging Australian choreographers in all dance styles to develop their skills and foster their talent.
The TEC will give up to four aspiring choreographers the opportunity to create a new work; the winner will be featured in The Ballet’s 2022 Bodytorque program and receive a cash prize of $10,000.
The award is open to all forms of dance, not just ballet. When discussing the initiate Hallberg said ‘I think part of my role and responsibility is to continue to stay a really active participant in the dance world, and the art world, here in Australia, and get to know it well. The community of dance should always be inclusive.’ Part of his vision for the company “is to open up our doors to other creators that aren’t necessarily ballet creators”.
Applications close 13 July, with the winner announced during the Bodytorque season in Melbourne this October.
The Australian Ballet School will soon be returning to Sydney to present Butterfly, their first new production in 18 years.
A modern fairy tale told through movement, Butterfly will feature 100 full-time students of The Australian Ballet School, showcasing the next generation of emerging Australian dance artists.
Choreographed by former graduate Lucas Jervies and created in the studios of The Australian Ballet School, Butterfly beautifully blends themes of realism and magic with classic and contemporary techniques. Designed to appeal to all ages, the original production will be brought to life by the extraordinary artistry of pre-professional dancers and will transport audiences to another world through the transformative sets and costumes by revered designer Hugh Colman.
Set to the joyous score Le Papillon (The Butterfly) by Jacques Offenbach, Butterfly is a tale that follows a young boy who vies for the attention of the smartest girl in school. On an excursion to the butterfly enclosure at the Zoo, they immerse themselves in the kingdom of butterflies, momentarily forgetting the world outside and embarking on a magical journey.
Butterfly will take flight at The Concourse in Chatswood for three performances on 2 – 3 July. Tickets for the Sydney performances are on sale now and can be purchased via Ticketek.
Friends members will soon be receiving information on special events we are running with the Australian Ballet School while they are in Sydney.
Can’t attend the next Ballet? In a different city? Ballet fans across the world can now get virtual front-row seats to the live-streamed performances by The Australian Ballet.
After the successful launch of Live on Ballet TV earlier in the year during Summertime at the Ballet, The Australian Ballet have just announced David Hallberg’s inaugural season will be available to stream and share across the globe.
Over the coming months, see the live-streamed performances of New York Dialects, Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet and Harlequinade from the comfort of your own home and enjoy bonus commentary from David Hallberg, plus live interviews and behind the scenes footage.
Tickets to individual ballets are just $25 each, or for even better value buy a season package of all four ballets for only $80.
New York Dialects unveils a new work by the American contemporary choreographer Pam Tanowitz – alongside two acclaimed masterworks, Serenade and The Four Temperaments, from George Balanchine.
Watch in real time at 7.15pm AEST Friday 11 June, or at your convenience until 5.30pm AEST Sunday 13 June.
Anna Karenina | 24 June
Leo Tolstoy’s immortal novel comes to life in this epic ballet of cinematic proportions. Heartbreak, tragedy, love, lust and betrayal are all at the centre of Anna Karenina’s undoing.
Watch in real time at 7.15pm AEST Thursday 24 June, or at your convenience until 5.30pm AEST Saturday 26 June.
Romeo and Juliet | 2 September
Experience the timeless and heart breaking classic Romeo and Juliet. John Cranko’s epic version of Shakespeare’s most heart-rending love story reaches new heights under Artistic Director, David Hallberg.
Watch in real time at 7.15pm AEST Thursday 2 September, or at your convenience until 5.30pm AEST Saturday 4 September.
Harlequinade | 16 September
Created over a century ago but lost to history, Harlequinade is a long-lost comedy from the creator of Swan Lake. Bursting with colour, madcap characters and hilarious hijinks, Alexei Ratmansky’s staging of Marius Petipa’s Harlequinade is the perfect family treat.
Watch in real time at 7.15pm AEST Thursday 16 September, or at your convenience until 5.30pm AEST Saturday 18 September.
There were many gifts given on David Hallberg’s birthday, seven of which were promotions that Hallberg himself gifted to dancers at an all-company meeting. Yuumi Yamada, Lisa Craig, Lucien Xu, Isobelle Dashwood, Jacqueline Clark, Riley Lapham, and Callum Linnane were all promoted.
Hallberg said, “Each promotion is the recognition of their individual focus and fortitude in their careers as professional dancers and equally, their contributions to the healthy culture of the company. Their talent exemplifies all aspects of the artistic vision I have for the company, and I look forward to seeing them all flourish in their new roles with vigour and confidence in their abilities.”
Congratulations to these artists!
Jacqueline Clark – promoted from Coryphée to Soloist
Lisa Craig – promoted from Corps de Ballet to Coryphée
Isobelle Dashwood – promoted from Corps de Ballet to Soloist
Riley Lapham – promoted from Corps de Ballet to Coryphée
Callum Linnane – promoted from Soloist to Senior Artist
Lucien Xu – promoted from Corps de Ballet to Coryphée
Yuumi Yamada – promoted from Coryphée to Soloist
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Jacqueline was born in Sydney and began dancing at the age of five. She studied with Sydney Festival Ballet and SCEGGS Redlands before finishing her studies at The Royal Ballet School in London. In 2006 she joined Ballet Ireland; in 2009 she joined The Royal Ballet. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2015.
During the recent Sydney season of New York Dialects, Jacqueline danced the First Theme in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments.
Lisa was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, and started ballet classes at the age of four. She studied under Caroline Claver before joining The Australian Ballet School, where she was chosen for an exchange program with Canada’s National Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. She toured in Don Quixote with The Dancers Company in 2011 and 2012 before joining The Australian Ballet in 2013.
Isobelle was born and raised in Toowoomba, Queensland. She began dancing at the age of six and trained in Queensland before winning the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Scholarship and a full scholarship to study at The Australian Ballet school; she began her studies in 2013. During her time at the school she participated in a month-long exchange with Canada’s National Ballet School and received an award for excellence in both classical and character dance. Isobelle joined The Australian Ballet in 2016.
During the recent Sydney season of New York Dialects, Isobelle danced Choleric in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. She was also a Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee in 2019 and 2017.
Riley grew up in Wollongong in New South Wales, and began dance classes at the age of six. She trained at the Beverley Rowles School of Dance and The Australian Ballet School. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2019
Riley received the Friends of The Australian Ballet Australian Ballet School Scholarship in 2018.
Callum Linnane grew up in Ballarat, Victoria. At the age of seven he began training in all styles of dance at the Ballarat Centre of Music and the Arts; he started ballet classes with Lauren Young at the age of eleven. Callum was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in 2008 and graduated dux with honours. He joined The Australian Ballet in 2015 and won the Telstra Ballet Award in 2016.
During the recent Sydney season of Counterpointe, Callum danced the Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.
Lucien (Yipeng) was born in the XuZhou, China. His father started him in dance lessons to build his strength. At age eleven Lucien was selected to study at the exclusive Beijing Dance Academy Secondary School. In 2014 and 2015 he received full scholarships to train at The Australian Ballet School, going on to tour with The Dancers Company several times. He joined The Australian Ballet in 2016. In 2019 he participated an exchange with The National Ballet of China.
Lucien was a Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee in 2018.
Originally born in Northern Japan, Yuumi moved to Australia when she was 16 to study at The Australian Ballet School. She toured with The Dancers Company in 2015. In 2016, she danced in The Australian Ballet’s production of Swan Lake and in its regional tour of Giselle, before joining The Company in 2017.
During the recent Sydney season of Counterpointe, Yuumi danced the Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux and the Second Pas de Deux in William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite.
Watch below to see David Hallberg announce the promotions
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 andthe 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 DameDarcey 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 celebration of David also raised over $150,000 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.
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