We are thrilled to announce that a member of our faculty, former Principal Artist of The Australian Ballet, and alumni of The Australian Ballet School, Ty King-Wall is stepping into the coveted role of Artistic Director at the Royal New Zealand Ballet!
After graduating from The Australian Ballet School in 2005, New Zealand-born Ty joined The Australian Ballet, where he was promoted to Soloist in 2010 and Principal Artist in 2013. He was was appointed as Dancers’ Director to The Australian Ballet Board in 2022 and retired from the stage in the same year. Ty returned to The Australian Ballet School as a Level 5 Classical Teacher in January 2023.
We asked Ty how he felt when it was confirmed he would be Royal New Zealand Ballet’s next Artistic Director.
Ty said “All the emotions! Excited and elated of course, but I also feel a great sense of responsibility - to protect the integrity of the company, its history and everything that has been built so far. And in particular, to take care of and support its people - dancers, staff, and everyone involved.”
What are you most looking forward to in this new role?
“So many things! Firstly, to be able to return home to Aotearoa New Zealand after living in Australia for twenty years is very exciting, especially to be bringing my family and to share this beautiful country with them. Wellington has always been one of my favourite cities in the world, so I'm really looking forward to being based there. To be able to travel the length and breadth of the country on the company's smalls tour, Tutus and Tour, bringing this incredible art form to as many Kiwis as possible. But most especially, the opportunity to build something really unique and powerful, together with Tobias (Perkins RNZB's new Executive Director), the dancers, the artistic staff, and the entire team at Royal New Zealand Ballet. It is very motivating and energising, I can't wait to get started! “
What will you take from your experience as a teacher into this new role?
“It has been a huge learning curve this year for me at The Australian Ballet School, and although it has been all too short, to return to my alma mater and complete that circle has been such a privilege, and one I'm so grateful for. Being a teacher or a director is very different to being a dancer. It's one thing to have the information or experience, but to be able to communicate it effectively to others is entirely different. Working collaboratively with the faculty to achieve the best possible outcomes for the students, and understanding how to contribute efficiently to that process has been enormously beneficial. Although you're working with a different cohort in students as opposed to professional dancers, appreciating those talent pathways and how dancers develop through all stages of their training is so important. Most of all, learning how to manage with sensitivity that emotional rollercoaster dancers experience day in, day out - their hopes, aspirations and achievements, but also their setbacks, frustration and disappointment as well.”
What are the next steps?
“I commence my new role with The Royal New Zealand Ballet in November. It was really important to me to stay and see my students (Level 5) through their end of year assessments, so I'm very happy that I will be able to do that. I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Lisa Pavane and the whole team here at The Australian Ballet School, who have been immensely supportive this year. I will miss everyone a great deal!”
On behalf of The Australian Ballet School community, we thank Ty for his inspiring work as a dancer, his nurturing style as a teacher, and wish Ty all the very best, and much success, in this exciting new chapter.