21/09/2021 - 15:00

WA Ballet hires seven new dancers

21/09/2021 - 15:00

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West Australian Ballet has expanded its team of dancers for the first time in a decade by creating seven positions, off the back of increased donor support and box office sales.

Brent Carson, Madeline Gill, Beatrice Manser, Sarah Ross, Ziggy Debrincat, Rab Flanigan and Izaak Westhead have been offered a full-time positions. Photo: Frances Andrijich

West Australian Ballet has expanded its team of dancers for the first time in at least a decade by creating seven new full-time positions, off the back of increased donor support and box office sales.

Seven of the company’s Young Artists will be offered full-time positions in the Corps de Ballet, and seven new dancers will join as Young Artists in 2022.

The expansion will be paid for by an increase in the number of donors participating in Pas de Deux, where philanthropists sponsor dancers, funding from the federal government’s RISE program, earnings from the company’s endowment fund and box office success in 2021.

Artistic director Aurélien Scannella said the decision to provide security to the next generation of graduates would help to build Australia’s dance industry.

“It has long been my goal to increase the size of West Australian Ballet and the time to start this mission is now to create a brighter future for our company and for the arts,” Mr Scannella said.

Mr Scannella said the increase in staff was needed to support the health and wellbeing of the dancers.

“It also enables us to consider new artistic opportunities of size and scale that has not been previously possible,” Mr Scannella said.

He said he hoped it would give opportunities for dancers in a time of uncertainty.

“Receiving a dancer contract is incredibly challenging around the world at this time,” Mr Scannella said.

“A lot of companies are still not performing, and many dancers are sadly moving on to other things.

“Our current Young Artists are immensely talented and have bright futures.

“I couldn’t risk them going into an environment with so few opportunities.”

WA Ballet had a strong year in 2020, posting a profit of $3.3 million, due to an increase in donations, JobKeeper and Lotterywest funding.

It is the eighth largest arts organisation in WA, according to Business News’ Data & Insights.

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