2019 Dancer Ensemble
Queensland Ballet will take on a bold new year in 2019 with an established ensemble of dancers seeing very little outgoing movement within the upper ranks of the Company and some very exciting dancers joining the Company Artist and Young Artists ranks.
Artistic Director, Li Cunxin, said he was thrilled that there was little change to the QB ensemble saying the standard of the Company’s dancers was world class and consistent.
"I’m very proud to see our Company standard consistently getting higher and higher and I'm pleased to be able to confidently promote from within our Young Artist and training programs," Mr Li said.
"In terms of Company Artists we're only bringing in one newcomer, with all other new Company Artists coming through our Jette Parker Young Artist or Academy programs.
"In 2018 we'll welcome Eriko Nakajima who hails originally from Japan. Eriko has been dancing with Opera National de Paris for the last two years as an Artiste Dancer and undertook her formal ballet training in Japan.
"Eriko is a beautiful dancer with rare qualities and terrific musicality – she has so much potential. I first saw her when she auditioned for us and she stood out as a real talent. I look forward to the contribution I know she will make to QB.
"Well also welcome back a former Pre-Professional Program (PPP) student of ours, Alyssa Kelty, who was a Company Dancer with Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2018 and will return to us as a Company Artist.
"I couldn't be happier to announce that five of our 2018 Jette Parker Young Artists are being promoted to Company Artists in 2019, I congratulate Isabella Swietlicki, Pol Andres Thio, Mali Comlekci, Josephine Frick and Luke Dimattina.
"Anyone who had the opportunity to see our Young Artists shine in our Bespoke program just recently, will not be surprised at these dancers’ appointments to the Company.
"This is the third year in a row that we've been spoilt for choice from our Young Artist program as the Academy continues to produce well-trained dancers with excellent technique and ability that any company would be proud to employ."
In addition, two of the 2018 Jette Parker Young Artists will be stepping up with Shaun Curtis and Noah Dunlop being appointed as Trainee Artists.
Mr Li also noted that more than half of the 2019 Jette Parker Young Artists had come through the Queensland Ballet Academy’s Pre-Professional Program, another feather in the Academy's bow.
"I'm so pleased that seven of our Jette Parker Young Artists in 2019 are PPP graduates including Maggie Bryan, Renee Freeman, Talia Fidra, Oscar Delbao, Edward Pope (also ex-West Australian Ballet Young Artist), Lucy Christodoulou and Charlie Slater. We'll also welcome some new Young Artists: Kaho Kato, Hayley Thompson, Jamie Delmonte, Clayton Forsythe and John Paul Lowe.
"Although we will say goodbye to some of our 2018 Young Artists including Hannah Clark, Natalie Lu, Lilyanna Scott and Yue Chen Shi, we greatly value them giving their all to Queensland Ballet this year and know they will go on to great things no matter where they end up. We're very happy that both Natalie and Brittany will perform in our My First Ballet production next year of The Little Green Road to Fairyland.
"As we welcome new dancers to our family, we inevitably farewell some of our ensemble and this year we say goodbye to one of our longest serving dancers and most recognisable QB faces, Lisa Edwards.
"Lisa has danced with QB for more than 14 years she retires from the stage after a successful 18-year dancing career that has seen her perform in Australia, Asia, Europe and South America. We are very pleased that even though she is leaving the stage, Lisa will retain her ties with QB taking on a teaching role with our Academy allowing time for her to also work in her other area of passion: Pilates and strength and conditioning coaching."
2019 promises to be a milestone year for Queensland Ballet as it breaks ground on two major infrastructure projects: the redevelopment of its home at the Thomas Dixon Centre and the construction of purpose-built Queensland Ballet Academy at Kelvin Grove State College.
"We're looking forward to next year with much anticipation as we take another step forward towards our ambition of becoming a truly global ballet company.
"Our first production of the year will be Liam Scarlett’s brand-new production of Dangerous Liaisons which will be epic in scale, design and costume and will showcase the incredible breadth of talent in our Company.
"We can't wait to share our 2019 season with our audiences."