Liam Scarlett

Artistic

Queensland Ballet was honoured to appoint Liam as the Company’s Artistic Associate in 2016.

Artistic Director Li Cunxin expressed his thoughts of that time:

“When I first met Liam, I was struck by his youthful genius and vitality. Here was an exciting new voice in choreography and I was beside myself with excitement when he accepted my invitation to become our Artistic Associate. Together, we planned to present one of his works every year, either new or existing.

In studio, he worked with passion and radiated creative energy. He really had his own style, his own view of how to develop ballet as an artform, and his musicality infused the stories he was creating. He really was such a true and genuine artist.”

In 2018, Liam choreographed a new Midsummer Night’s Dream as a co-production for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Queensland Ballet, bringing to life the whimsical masterpiece with his witty choreography, detailed characterisations, and charming blend of classical ballet with touches of modern dance, and Queensland Ballet toured the production to Melbourne and China to great critical acclaim.

Queensland Ballet’s 2018 season also included Liam’s The Firebird - the production from the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, where he brought his hallmark musicality and finely-crafted choreography to the iconic 20th century ballet.

In 2019 Queensland Ballet premiered Liam's Dangerous Liaisons to great critical acclaim – a co-production with Texas Ballet Theater. Based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ time-honoured novel which had captured audiences for the past 200 years, Liam’s rendition of the sultry tale, set amongst the aristocratic elite of late 18th century France, was a hedonistic tale of love, virtue and humanity, reimagined into a dramatic new ballet for mature audiences.

Upon news of his passing in April 2021, QB Associate Choreographer Jack Lister and dancers from QB expressed the honour of collaborating with Liam. 

“Working with Liam gave you such an insight into him as a human being. Gentle, intuitive, articulate, humble. A visionary who had the ability to take himself off the pedestal which we so rightly had put him on, by allowing us the opportunity to access his creative genius, never shrouded in ego. 

In his studio, you were at times unaware of the depths you had reached- physically, emotionally and artistically. He had the ability to allow his intense vision and passion for his creations infect the space. A master of his craft, working with him was truly a creative exchange built on mutual trust and respect. You felt inspired, not self-conscious. You were empowered, privileged and alive. Any amount of time with Liam was sustenance for many of us. Whether it be 10 days or 2 months, he fed us artistically and technically to sustain us through the turbulent nature of company life.

It is strange to be writing in past-tense when he spent most of time creating the future. We never took for granted the time in the studio together and it feels now even more profound to have been granted the privilege to experience his brilliance. We love you Liam.” 

Vale Liam Scarlett.


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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. Long before we performed on this land, it played host to the dance expression of our First Peoples. We pay our respects to their Elders — past, present and emerging — and acknowledge the valuable contribution they have made and continue to make to the cultural landscape of this country.

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