Our 55th anniversary year has been filled with many highlights and significant events. We were humbled to adorn the auditorium and perform at the memorial service for the School’s founding Director Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE, and proud to honour her with Simon Dow’s specially created Défilé. We launched the Dame Margaret Scott Endowment Fund with the aim to build the fund over time to support her vision and the future aspirations of the School.
Students of The Australian Ballet School presented some exceptional performances and participated in a great variety of dance and community events this year. Our Summer Season, Morning Melodies and Showcase Seasons in Melbourne and Sydney delighted audiences and exposed students to an exciting repertoire. We participated in the Prix’s Choreographic Project and performed in New York in Youth America Grand Prix 20th Anniversary International Dance School Gala. Our senior students performed Coppélia in The Australian Ballet’s Regional Tour, and 116 students, from our Early Learning Programme right through to our graduate year level, were employed by The Australian Ballet for the seasons of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Giselle, Sylvia and The Nutcracker. We collaborated with e.motion21, we participated in the Arts 8 annual event and global digital initiative World Ballet Day. Our students performed at the La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Awards and at the heart-warming Myer Christmas Window unveiling in Bourke Street. Every opportunity has extended upon and added to the learnings for our students.
We are fortunate to have strong relationships with leading schools worldwide and this year, and I personally visited HET National Training Academy and the Royal Ballet School. I also attended the Prix de Lausanne and sat on juries in Youth America Grand Prix in Indonesia and Japan.
The expertise of our artistic staff was called upon for adjudication, masterclasses and auditions, and as guest teachers. Collectively they travelled to NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth and internationally to Singapore, China, Korea, Germany, England and Canada. These opportunities support staff and organisational learning and ensure that we remain at the forefront nationally and internationally as leaders in vocational classical ballet education and training.
We strongly encourage all our students to remain focused on their academic education during their time at the School and congratulate them on their academic achievements this year. We thank VCASS as our academic provider and all our specialist teachers who deliver our allied education.
I’d like to take this opportunity to formally acknowledge the many wonderful people who make up The Australian Ballet School. From the music staff, to the boarding staff and our world-class health and wellbeing team… thank you!
To the artistic staff, I am inspired every day by your dedication and knowledge, your positive attitude, your attention to detail and your collaborative spirit. Thank you.
Special thanks to General Manager Sandra Ball for her leadership and the tremendous task of managing the operations of this organisation. To the entire administration team under Sandra’s leadership, it is truly an incredible team effort, thank you.
To our Chair Sarah Matheson, and members of the Board, thank you for putting your trust in me to guide the artistic leadership of this incredible School.
I would also like to acknowledge every supporter of the School most sincerely. Your contribution in so many ways, makes an enormous difference. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
To our students, I wish to congratulate you on your personal and individual progress and achievement this year. Never stop learning and striving to be your best.
To the Level 8 graduates of 2019, I wish you great happiness and success as you embark upon your next pathway. You are all incredible, capable and beautiful young people and I am immensely proud of you all.
From all of us at the School, I wish you all a joyous Christmas, a Happy New Year and a restful holiday break. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of The Australian Ballet School.