Queensland Ballet announces new Company Dancers and Young Artist Program for 2014

December 18, 2013

Press Releases

Queensland Ballet announces new Company Dancers and Young Artist Program for 2014

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Li Cunxin Photography by Christian Aas

Queensland Ballet has announced   that four new dancers will join the Company in 2014: Tara Schaufuss, Jack Lister, Mia Heathcote and Zhi Fang. Tara Schaufuss joins from The Royal Danish Theatre; Jack Lister from Queensland Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program; and Mia Heathcote and Zhi Fang are graduates from The Australian Ballet School.

Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director is delighted to welcome these talented dancers to the Company in   2014. “I’m very excited that Tara, Jack, Mia and Zhi will be joining our   incredibly gifted ensemble of dancers in 2014.”

The Company also announced the launch of its Jette Parker Young Artist Program, a new apprenticeship program   that will foster talented young dancers at the start of their professional   career.

Artistic Director Li Cunxin is   very excited to announce this new program. “I am committed to ensuring   international best practice in our training at every level, and nurturing   excellence in ballet technique and theatricality.

The new annual apprenticeship   program will enable eight talented young dancers from around the world to join Queensland Ballet to refine their technique, have access to performance opportunities and enjoy elite mentoring.

With the Junior Program, QDSE  (Queensland Dance School of Excellence) and Pre-Professional Program already   well-established, Queensland Ballet’s Young Artist Program will provide   further development opportunities for young dancers.

“We aim to attract the best international talent, provide clear career pathways and produce dancers   whose abilities are internationally sought-after,” comments Li.

The Young Artists will have opportunities to perform alongside Principals, as part of the Company   ensemble, and with guest artists from around the world.

Four male and two female   dancers have currently been contracted to join the Young Artist Program in   2014: Neneka Yoshida, Brydee Lyttle, Nathan Brook, Liam Fien, Cameron McCormacka and Yael Shervashidze.

Neneka Yoshida, a Finalist in   the 2013 Prix de Lausanne, joins after training at Le Conservatoire de Paris   and La Fundación para la Danza Victor Ullate in Spain; Brydee Lyttle has been   a member of Queensland Ballet’s 2013 Pre-Professional Program, following her   studies at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet in Melbourne; and Nathan   Brook, Liam Fien, Cameron McCormack and Yael Shervashidze are graduates of   The Australian Ballet School.

The remaining two Young Artists  for 2014 will be announced early next year.

The Jette Parker Young Artist   Program is named in honour of Jette Parker of Oak Foundation, whose visionary   support has enabled this initiative. Oak Foundation comprises a group of   philanthropic organisations based in various countries around the world and,   since its establishment in 1983, has made over 2,700 grants to not-for-profit   organisations across the globe.

Queensland Ballet is also   grateful to the Frazer Family Foundation, Amanda Talbot and the Patricia   Macdonald Foundation for their generous contributions towards the Program.

“We look forward to   welcoming this talented group of Young Artists to our Company and introducing   them to our audiences in Season 2014,” said Li.

Queensland Ballet has also   offered over 20 positions to its Pre-Professional Program, a full-time final   year training program designed to prepare students for a professional career.   Under the direction of Li and Director of Training Christian Tätchev,   Pre-Professional students thrive in an atmosphere dedicated to developing   their skills to the highest artistic and technical standards.

Approximately 40 positions were   offered to young students to join the Queensland Ballet’s Junior Program in   2014. This program gives gifted students an opportunity to further develop   their skills under the nurture and guidance of the Company’s teaching staff   during weekly classes. The Junior Program is designed to expand training for   young ballet students, in addition to their regular studio training.

Company Dancers Alexander Idaszak, Guy Wheatstone, Robyn Begg and Tamara Zurvas will be leaving the  Company at the end of the 2013 season.

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