Members received a bonus at this year's function. In addition to the seven "brand new" dancers, we met two "fairly new" dancers who joined The Australian Ballet in the second half of last year. Our President Josie Woodgate first welcomed and introduced our guests. When Artistic Director David McAllister entered, she asked him whether he should be included as a "dancer". He dispelled any doubt by demonstrating a sissonne or two. This set the tone for the evening, which was relaxed, warm and friendly. We then saw photographs and video clips of our guests in action, kindly assembled by Paul Brickhill, Head of Music and Audio-Visual Coordinator of the Australian Ballet School.
Above: David McAllister AM talks with Ako Kondo
The dancers are seated in front of the mirrors of Studio 8
Next, David talked with each of the dancers in turn. We heard not only of their early training and experiences at the School, but also the reminiscences of those who have danced with companies overseas. Members were impressed by the self-confidence of the dancers and their lively personalities, which augur well for future performances.
Benjamin Stuart-Carberry, Brett Simon, David McAllister AM, Calvin Hannaford, Victor Esguerra, Ingrid Gow
Ako Kondo, Jessica Wood, Jack Hersee, Jessica Fyfe.
After the session we moved to the Dancers' Deli for a supper of sandwiches, white wine and soft drinks, allowing members a chance to chat personally with the New Dancers.