Join David McAllister for a very special virtual conversation celebrating The Australian Ballet’s Don Quixote choreographed by Rudolph Nureyev.
In an online event curated especially for our philanthropic community, you will be treated to a live in-conversation between The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister and Marilyn Rowe who performed the roles of the Street Dancer and the Queen of the Dryads in the 1973 film also starring Rudolph Nureyev and Robert Helpmann.
Hosted by Friends Deputy Chair Bruce Pollack in conversation with Leo Schofield AM
Twenty years ago this month, Australia welcomed the world to Sydney. Leo Schofield was the Artistic Director of the 2000 Sydney Olympic and the 2000 Summer Paralympics arts festivals. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a journalist, critic, creative arts festival director, and trustee of countless arts and cultural organisations.
Join The Friends for a warm convivial online conversation with Leo Schofield as we explore his passion for the performing arts, involvement with the Paris Opera Ballet and revisit fond and funny Olympic moments from Sydney 2000.
Friends of The Australian Ballet Chair Greg Khoury and Friends sub-committee member, dancer and remedial therapist Gayle Wakeling-Taylor will explore some of the ideas recently shared by The Australian Ballet and La Trobe University into joint management and treatment.
‘I want to be someone who really touches and inspires the audiences I dance for’
– Adam Elmes
Where did you grow up?
On the Northern Beaches of Sydney
What age did you start dancing? I started dancing when I was 8 with my mum as my teacher.
What’s your first memory of dance? I would say my first memory of dance would just be dancing around the house with music on when I was young. I remember my mum used to put on old musical theatre tunes and we would boogie around the living room together.
Favourite ballet/contemporary work?
My favourite piece I’ve ever seen was Grand Finale by Hofesh Schechter Company.
Favourite dance film/book/podcast? I really love Mao’s Last Dancer, Li Cunxin’s history and how he came to be the director of QB is really interesting to me.
Adam Elmes, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Favourite moment on stage? I was given the awesome opportunity to dance with the company in a corps role last year while I was in Level 8 at ABS in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I was a card in the third act and it was by far the most thrilling and nerve wracking thing for me but I loved every moment.
What repertoire/role do you aspire to perform? Some balletic roles I would love to perform some day are James from La Sylphide, Blue bird from Sleeping Beauty or the Jack in the Box from Nutcracker.
Who is your dance idol or mentor?
I like to be inspired by the people around me as opposed to some celebrity dancers so people like Benedicte Bemet and Marcus Morelli are examples of people who I get to see dance often that inspire me to grow as a dancer.
Do you prefer the classical or contemporary repertoire? I definitely found such a great passion for classical repertoire during my time at the school and my introduction to the company but I have to say contemporary rep is usually my favourite to perform.
How have you been keeping busy during lockdown? I’ve been reading and learning about various things, watching tv shows and hanging with my roommates/family as much as I can.
What are you most looking forward to about being back in the studio? The space! You forget how it feels to be able to run and jump and slide when you’re cooped up in lockdown. I’m excited to remember what that love for really moving feels like.
What do you think makes TAB such an incredible company to be a part of? Something I really love about TAB is the culture of encouraging and supporting each other as we progress together. It feels like quite an Australian way to achieve things, together in spite of differences. I love the laughter and fun we have while staging shows too, it really is my dream job.
What is your biggest aspiration for your career? I want to be someone who really touches and inspires the audiences I dance for and makes people feel things; changes their way of thinking. I know that’s a little cliché but if I can make someone in the audience laugh or help them realise things about the world in how I move then I don’t want anything else.
‘I think that being able to travel to places and perform is like a dream and I don’t think it will ever feel like a “real job” just because I love it so much’
– Alain Juelg
Where did you grow up? I grew up in both Canberra and Melbourne. I was in Canberra for my earlier years and then when I was 11 moved to Melbourne with my family to attend the Australian Ballet school.
What age did you start dancing? I first started dancing at age 3 at my mother’s ballet school.
What’s your first memory of dance?
My first memory of dance is from one of the end of year concerts my mum put on for her ballet school. I remember my brother not wanting to go and wanting to just play outside instead but for some reason I wanted to be backstage watching with my mum.
Alain Juelg, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Favourite ballet/contemporary work?
My favourite ballet would have to be La Bayadere or Don Quixote just because they both look like so much fun to dance in and then my favourite contemporary work would have to be Grand Finale performed by Hofesh Shecter Company.
Favourite dance film/book/podcast?
My favourite dance film is easily Centre Stage, it’s just a classic.
Favourite moment on stage?
My favourite moment on stage so far would have to be the 2019 showcase for the Australian Ballet School. That entire night was the best I have ever felt dancing. I was very stressed leading up to the performance as there were certain things in that show that I struggled with a lot, but everything just seemed to work for me on that night and I was so grateful I could just enjoy the feeling of performing for a huge crowd with so many of my friends. I felt like I was on top of the world.
What repertoire/role do you aspire to perform?
There are so many ballets I would be honoured to perform throughout my career that it’s hard to narrow it down. I would love to perform Solor from La Bayadere, Albrecht from Giselle and the knave from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to name a few.
Who is your dance idol or mentor?
I have a few dance idols, Rudolf Nureyev and Baryshnikov of course, Danill Simkin, Carlos Acosta and Daniel Gaudiello are probably the main ones.
Do you prefer the classical or contemporary repertoire?
I love watching contemporary pieces, but I think I prefer to dance in classical ballets. Its very hard to decide between these two for me.
How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?
I have mainly just been playing guitar in my spare time and trying to get better at certain techniques.
What are you most looking forward to about being back in the studio?
I am most looking forward to feeling like I can breathe when I’m dancing. In classes at home while they have been good for keeping fit I miss just having space and a proper barre.y
What do you think makes TAB such an incredible company to be a part of?
I think TAB is an incredible company because of the people in it. I think the dancers are amazing as are the artistic staff and the longer I am with the company the more I am learning about the roles that other people play in it in terms and admin stuff. I think that being able to travel to places and perform is like a dream and I don’t think it will ever feel like a “real job” just because I love it so much.
What is your biggest aspiration for your career?
My biggest aspiration for my career is to become a principal artist at this company. I want to be the best dancer that I can possibly be, I would also love to dance on stages around the world as well as the ones here in Australia.