Congratulations and farewells for a suite of dancers
Juliet Burnett Photograph : James Braund
Change is in the air at The Australian Ballet, with Artistic Director David McAllister announcing a series of exciting promotions today.An unprecedented 15 dancers have been elevated for the 2011 season, demonstrating the wealth of talent at the company. Juliet Burnett, Tzu-Chao Chou and Ty King-Wall are leading the charge, with all three set to become senior artists in the New Year.
McAllister said the trio had shown a compelling mix of maturity, technique and grace, which made them natural choices for promotion.“It’s always a hard decision to make but Juliet, Tzu-Chao and Ty have all given amazing performances on the mainstage, as well as showing the commitment and dedication behind the curtain that you need to succeed as a dancer,” McAllister said.“I have absolutely no doubt that we will see them shine in major roles in the years to come,” he said.Juliet joined the company in 2003 and was promoted to soloist in 2009. In 2008, while still a coryphée, she was chosen by choreographer Matjash Mrozewski to create the title role in his ballet Semele, in which her performance was widely praised. A Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee in 2009, she recently danced the principal role of Sophie in Graeme Murphy’s The Silver Rose, garnering rave reviews.
Tzu-Chao Chou The Australian Ballet Photograhy : James Braund
Tzu-Chao has been dancing with The Australian Ballet since 2005. A Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee in 2008, he is known for his incredible jumps and athleticism onstage. Tzu-Chao was promoted to soloist in 2008 and worked closely with Wayne McGregor in 2009, dancing a major role in Dyad 1929.
The youngest soloist to be promoted is Ty King-Wall, who joined the company in 2006 and has rapidly risen through the ranks. Promoted to soloist at the beginning of 2010, Ty also performed the principal role of Octavian in The Silver Rose and is currently vying for this year’s Telstra Ballet Dancer Award.
Ty King-Wall Photograph : James Braund
Joining these dancers on the rise are Ben Davis, Amy Harris, Rudy Hawkes, Robyn Hendricks, Brett Simon, Jacob Sofer and Andrew Wright, who will all climb to the position of soloist from coryphée.
Chengwu Guo, Halaina Hills, Jarryd Madden, Heidi Martin and Garry Stocks have been promoted from the corps de ballet to coryphée.
The company also prepares to farewell six dancers as they embark on their next adventure outside of The Australian Ballet.Soloists Gina Brescianini, Jane Casson and Luke Ingham, coryphées Jia Yin Du and Stephanie Williams and Victor Esguerra from the corps de ballet will finish dancing with The Australian Ballet at the end of 2010.“Gina, Jane, Luke, Jia Yin, Stephanie and Victor are all much-loved members of our ballet family and we wish them every success in their future endeavors,” said McAllister.Gina joined the company in 2001, and won the coveted Telstra Ballet Dancer Award in 2006 while still a coryphée. She notably danced the role of Swanilda with guest artist Alexander Campbell from the Birmingham Royal Ballet in Coppélia earlier this year, and recently performed the role of Clara in Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker. In 2011, Gina plans to open her own yoga school.Popular with audiences and her fellow dancers alike, Jane has been with the company since 2001.
A Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee in 2007 and 2004, Jane won a prestigious Green Room Award for her year’s work with the company in 2007.After giving birth to son Alexander in February, Jane has decided to concentrate on motherhood, while starting a business giving Pilates instruction to new mums.South Australian-born Luke joined The Australian Ballet in 2004, and won the Telstra People’s Choice Award in 2007. He was promoted to soloist in 2008 and has danced many lead roles, charming audiences with his presence on stage. Luke is preparing for adventures overseas and will be a greatly missed member of the company.
Jia Yin has clocked up an impressive decade with The Australian Ballet, after initially winning a scholarship with the Australian Ballet School from his native China. He plans to open a school teaching the classical arts, including ballet, and hopes to dance guest roles in the future.
Stephanie took out the 2009 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and the People’s Choice Award. In her four years with the company, she has danced many principal roles, in both the classical and contemporary repertoire. Stephanie leaves The Australian Ballet to head overseas to travel and pursue dance opportunities abroad.
The Australian Ballet celebrates its coming of age in 2011 with a program of international hits, and many of the dancers promoted will have the opportunity to tackle iconic roles for the very first time.
With the company’s 50th birthday edging closer, the stars of 2011 look very bright indeed.