WA Ballet expands
The West Australian Ballet has expanded its ranks with the creation of seven new full-time positions for dancers.
The company presently consists of 32 dancers plus seven young artists. Beginning next year it will have 39 dancers and seven young artists.
The company is describing the expansion as "an unprecedented gesture of faith in the face of Covid-19" and "a critical investment in the future of arts in Australia", given that much of the Australian performing arts scene is on hold and job prospects are uncertain.
“This confident action by our company underlines the responsibility we have as a leader in the Australian arts community. This decision provide security to the next generation of graduates, it builds our Australian dance industry and makes it clear that arts are essential to our lives,” said Artistic Director Aurelien Scannella. “To see Australian talent disappear due of the pandemic would be a tragedy. 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.”
The full seven dancers from the company's 2021 Young Artists program will have the offer of full-time positions in the Corps de Ballet and seven new Young Artists will join the company in 2022.
“Receiving a dancer contract is incredibly challenging around the world at this time,” said Scannella.
“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,” said Scannella.
The plan has been made possible following the success of the WAB’s Endowment Fund and continued box office growth.
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Photo: Frances Andrijich