Meet the New Dancers ~ 2015
There were five new dancers introduced to Society Members by President, Josie Woodgate, OAM at this popular function which has been a traditional ‘first function of the year’ for decades. The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, AM. interviewed each one in his inimitable and gentle manner which produced all sorts of interesting background material about each dancer. If they were a bit shy or nervous he managed to put them at their ease with the result that the audience was fascinating and intrigued by what they learned about each dancer.
This group of dancers came from mixed backgrounds and training and the audience was able to see them in action on the screen after they were introduced.
SOPHIE MORGAN was born in England and came to Australia at age three. She trained at The Australian Ballet School from 2011 at age 15 and was inspired by her Grandmother’s love and passion for music.
SHAUN ANDREWS comes from NSW and commenced in Level 5 as a full-time student at The Australian Ballet School. He was thrilled to attend The National Ballet School of Canada on exchange for a few weeks in 2013. He has received awards for excellence in Classical, Contemporary and Character Dance. He loves horse riding too.
CALLUM LINNANE grew up in Ballarat and started dancing at 7. He became a student at The Australian Ballet School aged 11. He performed major roles with the School including Albrech in Giselle, at Morning Melodies and in Ascension by Leigh Rowles at the Assemblee International in Toronta, Canada.
NATASHA KUSCH was born in the Ukraine and started her career, moving to Vienna to study with Shida Mubaryakova and joining the Vienna State Ballet as a soloist in 2005. In 2012 she danced the pas de deux from Le Corsaire with Daniel Gaudiello (Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet) at a Gala and then joined the Queensland Ballet in 2013 as a Principal. She was offered a contract as a Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet by David McAllister in late 2014.
NICOLA CURRY was raised in Colorado Springs and joined American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in 2005 and the following year she joined the corps of the main Company. She performed feature roles in several ballets and her talents extend to choreography. She came to Australia after marrying her Australian partner who lives in Brisbane. She accepted a contract from David and is now a Coryphee.
Audience and dancers got to meet and talk at the beautiful supper provided by the Ballet Society Committee and it was another most enjoyable opening function for 2015.
DRESS REHEARSALS GISELLE 12 March:
Society members were delighted to have the opportunity to see the dress rehearsals of Maina Gielgud’s beautiful production of this most loved ballet. They certainly filled the theatre and were touched and entertained by this unique and traditional story ballet that takes us with Giselle as she changes from a young innocent girl in love to the heart-broken young woman who dies in despair after realising that her lover is not what she believes. She is transformed into a spirit and then fights to save him from the Willis who are the ghosts of girls who have been betrayed as she was by Albrecht whom she still loves.
It might be ‘old-fashioned’ (1841) but it is the perfect ballet to express every emotion and The Australian Ballet, coached by Maina, did a magnificent job in bringing this great work to the stage with artistry and technical clarity.
Maina was so proud and so was Artistic Director, David McAllister of all the dancers of our national Ballet Company.
PARENTS ACCESS WEEK – The Australian Ballet School 16-20 March:
This was a very successful week with hundreds of parents and Society Members attending classes to see students doing class. It is a wonderful chance to see the future of dance in Australia in its earliest stages and perhaps even to decide who will ‘make it’ as an elite dancer in a few years time. The Dancers Deli provided food and encouragement and it is a lovely way to learn more about the development of dancers to the highest levels.
FILM AT COMO – Celebrate Dance – with Paris Opera Ballet 10 April:
It was an intriguing film presenting the students from the Paris Opera Ballet School on stage at the world renowned theatre. One of our former students from The Australian Ballet School was part of the presentation and many of our Ballet Society Members were kept busy trying to find her on stage – Hannah O’Neill – and they did.
We all then had afternoon tea in the foyer of the Como Theatre and it was an absolute feast provided by Ruth Triggs and her group of Committee Members who outdid themselves with delicious and tasty treats for the guests.
STUDIO REHEARSAL - The Australian Ballet School
Morning Melodies 7 May:
Studios 7/8 were full to capacity to watch a full rehearsal of the program to be presented at Hamer Hall the following week. It is always a thrill to be up close and personal at a studio rehearsal and it provides that extra incentive to the student dancers to give it their very best. They succeeded.
Director of the School, Lisa Pavane, was very happy with the event and texted Josie Woodgate, President of the Ballet Society, to express her appreciation of the audience and the opportunity it gave the students to perform the program in front of an audience.
Josie Woodgate, OAM.
President, The Australian Ballet Society.