Queensland Ballet announces its new dancers for 2013

Li Cunxin has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Queensland Ballet, offering contracts to nine new dancers, with eight dancers now in the company leaving at the end of the year.

After holding auditions in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, where he saw 180 dancers, the company’s new artistic director has chosen the following dancers: from the Australian Ballet School, Sophie Zoricic, Vito Bernasconi, Alexander Idaszak, Emilio Pavan and Alec S Roberts. From the Melbourne school, Ballet Theatre Australia, Vanessa Morelli, and from Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Robyn Begg and Mia Thompson.

The ninth dancer is Joseph Stewart who has been guest dancing with the company this year.

Already announced for 2013 are Matthew Lawrence, formerly with the Australian Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, who will be a principal artist for the Queensland Ballet and Huang Jun Shuang (a former Houston Ballet principal) who will be a guest principal next year.

The leavers are Gareth Belling, who plans to develop his choreography career, Piran Scott who will join the Leipziger Ballet, Alexander Koszarycz, Blair Wood, Robert McMillan, Kathleen Doody, Iona Marques and Gemma Pearce.

The contracts mean a turnover of around one third of the dancers in the Queensland Ballet.

The new dancers are almost all young, graduate students rather than professionals from Australia or overseas.

The number of dancers who auditioned and those who were accepted (180:9) indicates how extraordinarily difficult it is, at present, to enter a professional company anywhere and how tough it is for dancers to maintain their passion against the odds.