Adrian Burnett is an Artistic Director and Arts Leader with extensive national and international experience, as well as an award-winning choreographer and leading Dance Artist. He joined the Australia Council for the Arts in 2011 and was appointed Director of Dance in 2015.
Adrian is a graduate of The Australian Ballet School and joined The Australian Ballet in 1988 before moving to the Basel Ballet in Switzerland. Re-joining The Australian Ballet in 1994, he became lead soloist in 1996 and was a guest artist with National Ballet of Canada and Scottish Ballet.
In 1999 Adrian received the Lissa Black Choreographic Award, and in 2002 his ballet Subtle Sequence of Revelation won the Green Room Award for Best New Choreography. He became Senior Artist and was Resident Choreographer to The Australian Ballet from 2003 to 2006. He co-directed, with Artistic Director David McAllister, the Australian Ballet’s 40th anniversary program and from 2005 to 2007 was Executive Producer for Out There, The Australian Ballet in Schools.
As an independent choreographer Adrian has been commissioned to create new ballets for the Dutch National Ballet (for Holland International Festival), Houston Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, The Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
In 2013, Adrian re-staged seminal works by Glen Tetley and Twyla Tharp for the Scottish Ballet’s season at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival. In 2009, Adrian was Guest Dance Director for Sydney Dance Company assisting on Rafael Bonachela's We Unfold and staging his work 360 for an Australian tour. Adrian has also worked extensively as a guest ballet master with international companies including Royal Swedish Ballet and Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance (UK).
Adrian has had a long association with the Royal Academy of Dance’s Genée International Ballet competition. He was commissioned to create new works in 2002 (Sydney), 2009 (Singapore), 2012 (Wellington) and as guest coach for the competition held at the Sydney Opera House in 2016.
In 2011, Adrian was awarded a Master of Arts and Entertainment Management from the School of Business and Law, Deakin University. In 2019 was appointed to The Australian Ballet School Board and is Chair of the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group.