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.

 

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

A Virtual Evening with David McAllister

A Virtual Evening with David McAllister

AN EVENING WITH DAVID McALLISTER AND SPECIAL GUESTS

 

In recognition of your ongoing support of The Friends of The Australian Ballet we invite you and your household to join us for a very special virtual evening 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.

You will then be invited to view a screening of Don Quixote via The Australian Ballet’s Ballet TV.

 

Thursday 17 September
7pm Discussion and Q&A

 

David McAllister in conversation with Marilyn Rowe, introduced by Kenneth Watkins, Philanthropy Director

 

7.45pm Don Quixote
RSVP by Tuesday 15 September

 

Last Name:

Email address:

Event access details will be provided following RSVP.
Friends in Virtual Conversation | Leo Schofield

Friends in Virtual Conversation | Leo Schofield

FRIENDS IN VIRTUAL CONVERSATION
LEO SCHOFIELD AM

 

In recognition of your ongoing support of The Friends of The Australian Ballet we invite you to join us for a warm interactive conversation via Zoom.

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.

WATCH THE CONVERSATION

 

 

An Evening in Black Tie with David McAllister

Steven Heathcote and David McAllister in The Merry Widow, photo Kate Longley

AN EVENING IN BLACK TIE WITH DAVID McALLISTER AM

 

 

In recognition of your ongoing support of The Friends of The Australian Ballet we invite you and your household to join us for a very special virtual evening celebrating The Australian Ballet’s The Merry Widow (proudly brought to you by The Australian Ballet’s jewellery partner Van Cleef & Arpels).

In an online event curated especially for our ballet community, you will be treated to a live in-conversation between Artistic Director David McAllister and Principal Dancers Amber Scott and Adam Bull who dance the lead roles in this version of the show-stopping production.

You will then be invited to view a screening of The Merry Widow via The Australian Ballet’s Ballet TV.

 

Friday 14 August
7pm Discussion and Q&A 

 

David McAllister, Amber Scott and Adam Bull in conversation, introduced by Kenneth Watkins, The Australian Ballet’s Philanthropy Director

 

 

7.45pm The Merry Widow

 

 

RSVP by Tuesday 11 August

 

 

 

Event access details will be provided at 5pm Friday 14 August