Lest We Forget
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Queensland Ballet is a vibrant, creative company which connects people and dance across Queensland. We offer a program of world-class productions of the best classical ballets and inspired contemporary dance works. The Company engages renowned choreographers and designers from around the world and nurtures emerging local talent by presenting exciting new works in an intimate studio series. With a culture of creativity and collaboration, complemented by an active program of engagement with our communities, Queensland Ballet has become the central hub for dance in the State. Our dancers are acclaimed for their technical excellence and versatility, and our annual program offers diversity in style, audience focus and geographic reach, with up to 100 performances in Brisbane and tours to regional Queensland.
The facilities at Queensland Ballet's home in Thomas Dixon Centre in Brisbane’s West End allow the Company to offer a full range of training and community access programs, including public dance classes. We are committed to providing a pathway for young talent through our Jette Parker Young Artist Program, Pre-Professional and Junior Programs, as well as in the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, a program offered in partnership with Education Queensland. Queensland Ballet is dedicated to the pursuit of artistic excellence, dance education and innovative presentation of classical repertoire. With bold and confident ambitions for the future, we proudly build upon the legacy of many creative and gifted artists who have been part of the Company’s rich history since 1960.
Queensland Ballet has two membership groups: Queensland Ballet Friends, a fundraising and social group, whose members enjoy a range of benefits and opportunities to engage with the Company; and Queensland Ballet Company Members, as prescribed in the Queensland Ballet Constitution. Company Members do not receive any tangible benefits apart from the right to vote at the Queensland Ballet AGM.
Queensland Ballet was established in 1960 by Charles Lisner OBE. Charles trained with Edouard Borovansky and danced with his ballet company before going to London to continue dance studies with the Sadler's Wells Ballet School. He later joined The Royal Ballet , Covent Garden. In 1953 Charles returned to Australia to open the Lisner Ballet Academy, and in 1960, the Lisner Ballet Company. The Company was re-named Queensland Ballet in 1962 and became the first ballet ensemble in Australia to tour regionally, a commitment that continues today.
In 1974, Charles stepped down as Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer, and was replaced by Harry Haythorne.
Following Harry's departure in 1978, founding Company member and Principal Dancer, Harold Collins, was appointed as Artistic Director. Harold Collins led the Company until his retirement in 1997, maintaining Charles Lisner's commitment to the creation of uniquely Australian dance, and to forging a strong and independent company.
François Klaus was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of Queensland Ballet in 1998. During his tenure, he established training programs which are now an integral part of the Company’s operations, providing pathways for talented young people who are committed to a career in dance. Over fifteen years, François Klaus contributed many new works to the Company’s repertoire, from new productions of classic ballets to works designed especially to appeal to families.
In 2012, Li Cunxin, an acclaimed former dancer and author of the best-selling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, was appointed as Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director, commencing with Season 2013.
In its rich 53-year history, Queensland Ballet has continued to prosper and grow.
The Company now enjoys international acclaim and holds a firm place in the Australian cultural landscape.