The Sydney Dance Company’s leavers and joiners as it begins an anniversary year

Among the six dancers leaving the Sydney Dance Company are Bernhard Knauer and Todd Sutherland who have both given so much to the company and the dance community in Australia.

Knauer joined the SDC after moving to Australia at the end of 2009 and Sutherland joined the company seven years ago.

In a media release this week the company announced that Knauer planned to explore teaching while Sutherland will work in a “development role” with the Sydney Film Festival.

Sutherland has recently been teaching at the Sydney Dance Company’s open classes in Ultimo, Sydney.

The other leavers are Josephine Weise, Nelson Earl, Petros Treklis and Izzac Carroll.

Weise and Earl are moving to Europe and Treklis is returning to his home city, Melbourne, where he plans to pursue a career as a choreographer.

Carroll’s next steps are not detailed in the media release.

The new dancers are:

Dimitri Kleioris – who trained at the Australian Ballet School, danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, performed the lead role in An American in Paris in New York and in the American TV show, Flesh and Bone. He has recently been a guest artist with the Australian Ballet during the company’s season of Spartacus.

Mia Thompson – is an Australian dancer who worked at the Scottish Ballet and Queensland Ballet and trained at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Luke Hayward – who trained at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy and Studio Tibor in Sydney and the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden and worked at The Theatre Ballet Moscow.

Liam Green – who trained at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and worked at the West Australian Ballet in the corps de ballet and as a demi soloist.

Riley Fitzgerald – who studied at the New Zealand School of Dance and the Victorian College of the Arts.

Alexander Borg – who studied the Newtown High School of Performing Arts in Sydney and at the Sydney Dance Company’s pre-professional year class of 2018. He has been offered a trainee contract with SDC.

The new dancers will join Sydney Dance Company’s existing company dancers; Ariella Casu, Charmene Yap, Chloe Leong, Chloe Young, Davide Di Giovanni, Emily Seymour, Holly Doyle, Jacapo Grabar, Janessa Dufty, Jesse Scales, Juliette Barton (currently on maternity leave) and Victor Zarallo.

It’s interesting that four of the six new dancers have either trained at ballet schools or worked at ballet companies.

2019 marks the tenth year since Rafael Bonachela was appointed artistic director of SDC.

The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Sydney Dance Company’s history began in 1965 when the Australian Ballet dancer, Suzanne Musitz (Davidson), established Ballet in Nutshell, a group that introduced dance to secondary schools and colleges.

In 1967 it took the name Athletes and Dancers Company and was later known as The Dance Company (NSW).

In early 1972 it amalgamated with Joseph Savoie’s NSW Ballet Company that was previously The Ballet Theatre of Canberra.

From 1975 it was led by the Dutch choreographer, Jaap Flier, until Graeme Murphy was appointed as artistic director of the company in November 1976.

The company was renamed Sydney Dance Company in 1979.

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The Sydney Dance Company dancers in 2019

Sydney Dance Company, Triptych, Variation 10, Fiona Jopp,Todd Sutherland, Petros Treklis and Alana Sargent, photo © Peter Grieg

Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la Fee, photo © Alice Pennefather

Bernhard Knauer in Cacti, photo © Pedro Greig

Leanne Cope and Dimitri Kleioris in An American in Paris, photo © Matthew Murphy