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.
AN UNMISSABLE FESTIVAL OF DANCE MELBOURNE 24 SEPT – 2 OCT
This September, dance companies from around Australia will gather at Arts Centre Melbourne for a festival experience like no other.
DanceX is a brand new, two-part festival conceived and curated by The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg that will showcase the depth, range and diversity of the nation’s dance community. Bringing audiences brand new commissions, Australian premieres and excerpts from some of the most popular dance works of the last year, DanceX is an unmissable experience for culture-lovers of all kinds.
Eight companies – The Australian Ballet, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, Chunky Move, Lucy Guerin Inc, Australian Dance Theatre, Queensland Ballet and West Australian Ballet – will perform in two parts, marking the first coming-together of these companies in many years.
The Australian Ballet will perform in both parts, presenting the Australian premiere of Johan Inger’s comic, romantic dance theatre piece I New Then, set to songs by Van Morrison; Inger, a Swedish choreographer, danced with Nederlands Dans Theater and has made works for leading companies all over Europe.
DanceX is an opportunity for audiences to experience diverse works from Australia’s leading dance companies, celebrating and paying tribute to the richness of Australia’s dance community. As well as initiating and presenting DanceX, The Australian Ballet has commissioned two companies, Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc, to create brand new works.
PART ONE | 24 – 27 SEPTEMBER
The Australian Ballet | New Then A comic, romantic dance theatre piece set to songs by Van Morrison.
Queensland Ballet | Glass ConcertoAn assemblage of high energy, dynamic and emotional movement, Glass Concerto will captivate and inspire audiences.
Sydney Dance Company | ab [intra] (excerpt)From tenderness to turmoil, ab [intra] is a journey through the intensity of human existence that will command your attention.
Lucy Guerin Inc | How To Be Us* A duet for two women on the limits of freedom.
Bangarra Dance Theatre | Ochres and Walkabout (excerpts) Three powerful, spiritual and grounded excerts from Bangarra’s seminal works Ochres (1995) and Walkabout (2002).
Duration: approx. 146 mins (including two intervals)
PART TWO | 30 SEPTEMBER – 2 OCTOBER
Australian Dance Theatre | The Beginning of Nature (excerpt)The Beginning of Nature explores the complex symphony of overlapping rhythms that constitute the very fabric of nature.
Chunky Move | AB_TA_ Response* AB_TA_Response explores the rhythm of forms between dance and design and considers the dialogue between biological and technological systems.
West Australian Ballet | 4SeasonsThe stages of life and love – the youth of spring, storms of summer, tenderness of autumn and the aging of winter.
The Australian Ballet | New ThenA comic, romantic dance theatre piece set to songs by Van Morrison.
Duration: approx. 124 mins (including two intervals)
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.
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