As the dancers of The Australian Ballet have returned to the studios following our summer break, the company has welcomed five new Australian Ballet School graduates to the barre – two dancers joining after short-term engagements in 2018. In addition, eleven of our dancers will start the year in new positions, having been promoted at the end of 2018.
The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister has announced eleven promotions within the company. The five ranks in The Australian Ballet are Principal Artist, Senior Artist, Soloist, Coryphée and Corps de Ballet.
Benedicte Bemet, Dana Stephensen, Cristiano Martino and Marcus Morelli have been promoted to Senior Artists. Imogen Chapman, Ingrid Gow, Callum Linnane and Jake Mangakahia have been promoted to Soloists.
Jasmin Durham, Yuumi Yamada and Timothy Coleman have been promoted to the rank of Coryphée.
In 2019, The Australian Ballet has welcomed three graduates from The Australian Ballet School: Thomas McClintock, Annaliese Macdonald and Jacob de Groot; while former Australian Ballet School graduates Sara Andrlon and Tyson Powell will also join full time after dancing with the company on short-term engagements in 2018.
At the end of 2018, The Australian Ballet bid farewell to a number of our dancers. Two extraordinary and much-admired Principal Dancers, Leanne Stojmenov and Lana Jones have retired, taking their final bows at the end of our 2018 season after remarkable careers with The Australian Ballet. With collective 35-year careers at the company, Leanne and Lana will be remembered as shining stars.
Corps de ballet dancer Sarah Thompson, who joined The Australian Ballet in 2007, will also retire from dance in March at the end of the Brisbane season of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland©.
Richard House, who joined The Australian Ballet in 2011, has left the company to spread his wings at Sarasota Ballet in Florida.
The Australian Ballet has welcomed Alice Topp as its newest Resident Choreographer. Alice’s passion for choreography was first showcased in her unique works for The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque seasons. In 2018, she took on a new challenge creating her first full work, Aurum, which left many an audience member breathless.
Looking Ahead – The Year of Enchantment
The Australian Ballet’s 2019 program is a journey through mythical lands, filled with colourful characters and poetic beauty. Showcasing the work of some of the world’s top choreographers, the season features five spellbinding story ballets as well as the return of a lauded contemporary triple bill.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland© opens the 2019 season with all the madcap characters and spectacular visual design that made it the most successful Melbourne season in the company’s history when it made its Australian debut in 2017. Brisbane audiences will find Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland© in February, and the production returns to Melbourne in June.
In March, Melbourne audiences will be dazzled by Cinderella. Made especially for The Australian Ballet by Alexei Ratmansky, the world’s most in-demand choreographer, this Cinderella has all the elements of the story we know and love – a feisty heroine, a dashing prince, a kindly godmother and a deliciously wicked stepmother – with some fantastical additions.
Three homegrown works showcase the artistic breadth and virtuosity of choreographers from within The Australian Ballet in the contemporary triple bill Verve. Combining resident Choreographer Stephen Baynes’ elegant work Constant Variants, Alice Topp’s Aurum and Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, Verve takes audiences on a journey through aggression and catharsis. Showing exclusively in Sydney in April.
A timeless love story with a supernatural edge, Sydney audiences will be delighted by the story of Giselle in May. This iconic Romantic ballet has stood the test of time, not just because of the otherworldly beauty, with its ethereal ghosts floating through the forest, but because of the universal passion of its storyline.
The renowned contemporary ballet company Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo brings its full troupe to Australia, performing Jean-Christophe Maillot’s LAC, a sinister, erotic take on Swan Lake. Exclusive to Melbourne in June.
Female dancers will learn sword fighting to embody the superheroines of Sylvia, a new work from Stanton Welch, resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet and artistic director of Houston Ballet. Sylvia will have its world premiere in Houston in February 2019, and will debut in Australia in Melbourne in August before a Sydney season in November.
Widely considered the world’s most beautiful version of The Nutcracker, Peter Wright’s sumptuous traditional production closes The Australian Ballet’s 2019 season. The Nutcracker famously tells the story of a young girl swept away on a magical journey one Christmas Eve and will delight audiences in Melbourne in September, before playing in Adelaide in October, and finally in Sydney from November.