Leigh Warren honoured with lifetime achievement

The 2014 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to the choreographer, performer and educator, Leigh Warren, for his outstanding contribution to the industry throughout his 40 year career.

Warren trained at Valrene Tweedie’s Australian Academy of Ballet in Sydney then joined the Australian Ballet School in 1969.

A year later, he became a member of the Australian Ballet, reaching the rank of soloist in 1972.

He joined Ballet Rambert in London and enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music in New York in 1974 to complete a Churchill Fellowship awarded to him in Australia in 1972.

Warren danced with the Dance Company (NSW) under the direction of Jaap Flier but returned to Europe in 1976. He worked again with Ballet Rambert, then with Nederlands Dans Theater in The Hague and then between 1984 and 1985 as a freelance artist.

He was senior lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts before being appointed artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre in 1987.

He led Australian Dance Theatre until 1992 after which he set up Leigh Warren and Dancers.

Warren’s choreographic skills developed in New York at the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Kazuko Hirabayashiu from the Martha Graham School, and during his period with Nederlands Dans Theater where he was contemporary teacher for NDT2.

His first major evening of choreography, however, was presented in London in the mid 1970s while he was performing with Ballet Rambert.

He made many works during his career as artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre and his prolific output has continued with Leigh Warren and Dancers and as a freelance artist.

In a statement today, Ausdance National chief executive, Roslyn Dundas said Leigh’s career was exceptional.

“His compositions span classical and contemporary genres, and as a performer, choreographer, creative director, administrator, mentor and educator, he is influencing a generation of dancers and dance professionals.”

The 2014 Australian Dance Awards will be presented by Ausdance NSW at a gala ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on 9 November.

Biographical information thanks to the National Library of Australia.

One Comment

  1. Jean Hopcraft
    Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Congrats on becoming a legend, we already knew you were!
    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

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Leigh Warren

Leigh Warren