The artistic director of the West Australian Ballet, Ivan Cavallari, has announced that he will conclude his contract at the end of 2012, his 6th year and 5th season with the company. He will leave to assume the position of artistic director with Ballet du Rhin, the Ballet of the Opéra national du Rhin, based in Alcase, France.
According to a press release issued by the WAB, the last 18 months have been challenging for Cavallari, as he has juggled his WAB responsibilities with personal commitments in Stuttgart. This o new position will enable him to be much closer to home and family. It was not an easy decision for him to take, especially as the company enters a new era with its move to the State ballet centre in Maylands:
“Seeing the growth of the company over the past six years has given me enormous pride and artistic satisfaction. Whilst there is still some way to go, when you look at where we were in 2007 with just 19 dancers and now in 2012 with 36, and the ensemble continuing to go from strength to strength, the company is in a wonderful position for a new artistic director to lead it into the next stage of its development.
“I will certainly miss the company and have valued my time in Perth and Australia, but you never know what life will throw at you, and you have to be in a position to respond," Mr Cavallari says.
Italian-born Cavallari was a principal dancer and choreographer with the Stuttgart Ballet from 1991 before being appointed as leader of the WA Ballet in 2007.
Chairman Bret Mattes agrees that Cavallari’s time in Perth has been pivotal to the growth and success of the company.
Cavallari’s 60th anniversary season for West Australian Ballet begins with Ballet at the Quarry opening 10 February, and concludes with his acclaimed take on The Nutcracker at His Majesty’s in November/December. An international search for a new artistic director will begin in the coming months.