Dancer Secures International Contract with Ballet Zürich, Switzerland

Dancer Secures International Contract with Ballet Zürich, Switzerland

Queensland Ballet Principal Artist, Joel Woellner, is set to embark on an exciting new chapter in his career as he accepts an international contract with Ballet Zürich in Switzerland, under the Artistic Direction of Cathy Marston. 

Joel has been a beloved figure at Queensland Ballet, captivating audiences with his remarkable performances in leading roles across the Company's diverse repertoire. Hailing from Sydney, Joel's journey in dance began at the tender age of 7 at Ettingshausens Dynamic Arts, before further honing his craft at the Ben Stevenson Academy in Houston, Texas. 

Since joining Queensland Ballet in 2015, Joel ascended through the ranks, showcasing his exceptional talent and dedication. He was promoted to Principal Artist in June 2021, and audiences enjoyed his portrayal of iconic roles such as 'Prince Désiré' in The Sleeping Beauty, 'Des Grieux' from Manon and 'Oberon' from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Joel's repertoire highlights encompass a multitude of classical and contemporary works, including performances in masterpieces by renowned choreographers such as Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Liam Scarlett, Stephanie Lake and Christopher Bruce. 

Dangerous Liaisons, Joel-Woellner & Georgia Swan, photo by David Kelly

In addition to his outstanding performances on stage, Joel has garnered numerous accolades throughout his career, including being a finalist of the Youth America Grand Prix, receiving a full scholarship to the Ben Stevenson Academy, and being a dual prize winner of the Prix de Lausanne. 

Commenting on his new endeavour, Joel expressed his gratitude to the Company. 

“Queensland Ballet is a place that has nurtured and developed my skills as a ballet dancer over the last 9 years, for which I will always be thankful. I would like to thank the Artistic Directors, artistic staff, all those behind the scenes, patrons and audiences for making my time at Queensland Ballet such a wonderful experience." 

“To the Artists of Queensland Ballet, I’m forever grateful for your passion and commitment to this art form. I'm lucky to have shared in so many moments together. Each of you has made a lasting impact on my life, and I can’t thank you enough. It has been an absolute privilege to share my journey with you."

“It’s with mixed emotions I make this career change, but I look forward to the new challenges. This is not goodbye, but rather see you again soon,” he said. 

Liam Scarlett's Firebird Joel-Woellner & Laura Hildago, photo by David kelly

Leanne Benjamin, Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, extended her heartfelt congratulations to Joel. 

"Joel's journey with us has been nothing short of inspiring. In his 9 years with Queensland Ballet, he has not only been an exceptional artist but also a cherished member of our family,” she said. 

“We’re proud to see him take this next step in his career and begin a new adventure with another world-class company. Queensland Ballet will continue to support him every step of the way.” 

Joel starts with Ballet Zürich on August 13, 2024. His final performance with Queensland Ballet will be the evening performance of Coppélia on Saturday, 22 June.  

see coppélia


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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