Lisa Edwards to bow out on a high
One of QB's best known and most treasured ballerinas will take her last curtain call in 2018 after more than 14 years dancing with the Company.
Senior Soloist Lisa Edwards announced earlier this year that she would retire from the stage following QB's season of The Nutcracker in December after a stellar career with QB and in Europe.
Lisa's 18-year career as a professional ballerina has seen her perform throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and South America dancing many of her dream roles and working with internationally renowned choreographers.
Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin said, "Lisa is such a special dancer. She dances with such passion and musicality. Over the years she has enthralled audiences with her artistry and grace. Her dedication and work ethic are truly inspiring, she is a role model in the company. We will miss her!"
Lisa said her decision to retire did not come easily as her love for the artform has only increased throughout her career, however the time was right to explore new opportunities both within and outside the ballet world.
Upon retirement at the end of this year, Lisa will retain her ties with Queensland Ballet taking on some part time teaching with Queensland Ballet Academy, allowing time for her to also work in her other area of passion: Pilates and strength and conditioning coaching.
“I had always been keen to make my own decision about when would be the right time to retire from the stage, to go out on a high and to maintain the joy that ballet gives me. That time for me is this year and I’m thrilled about the opportunities that lie before me,” Lisa said.
“I’m so proud of my career as a dancer and can look back at my years with QB and in Europe knowing I was incredibly lucky to work with the likes of Nils Christie, Ben Stevenson, Gareth Belling, Greg Horsman, Liam Scarlett, Peter Schaufuss and Mario Schroeder.
“I’ve danced some of ballet’s best loved roles such as Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet; The Sylph in La Sylphide; The Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen and Arabian in The Nutcracker; Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle; the Fairies of Beauty, Grace and Wisdom in The Sleeping Beauty; and Cinderella, Fairy Godmother and Summer Fairy in Cinderella.
“I’m so pleased I can still stay connected with QB through teaching as I’ve always loved the fact that the Company is committed to nurturing and developing talent. I’ve long been invested in QB’s Adopt-a-Dancer program, our Summer Schools and Audition Experience programs and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to help young people find their way in this industry.
“I’d like to thank and acknowledge former Artistic Director Francois Klaus and his wife Robyn as well as Li and the current artistic team here at QB. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities and experiences throughout my time here and will hold them close to my heart.
“I’m lucky to have such a supportive family, who have always gone above and beyond to help my dream of becoming a ballerina a reality. This is a dream I’ve been able to share with many audiences and those who have followed my career.
“I’d also like to make special mention of QB’s in-house medical team and consultants whose incredible support and care helped me keep performing and also fostered my own passion for Pilates and rehabilitation.
“What makes QB unique is the people. Not only are my colleagues incredibly talented and inspiring, they are my friends and I can’t wait to keep following their journey.”
In addition to her incredible contribution to Queensland Ballet through her role as a Senior Soloist, Lisa’s talent has been recognised over the years as she is a current Bloch Ambassador, as the face of the “It’s Live” Tourism Queensland campaign in 2014/15 and in being awarded the 2016 Dream Festival Artist of the Year. She was noted as a ‘Dancer to Watch’ in 2014 and 2016 for the Dance Australia Critic’s Survey.
Lisa began dancing at age five and undertook her later formal dance training at The Australian Ballet School. She danced with Stadttheater St Gallen, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, Stadttheater Koblenz in Europe before joining Queensland Ballet in 2004 as a Company Artist, she was then promoted to Soloist in 2013.
Lisa's final performances will take place within The Nutcracker season, on the following dates and roles:
Friday 14 December - Arabian
Tuesday 18 December - Arabian
Thursday 20 December (1.30pm) - Snow Queen
Saturday 22 December (1.30pm) - Snow Queen (with celebration on-stage following performance)
Saturday 22 December (7.30pm) - Arabian