The Hon. Chloe Fox launched the first ever Australian Dance Theatre Youth Ensemble at an official event at the company’s Wonderland ballroom headquarters today.
“Australian Dance Theatre is globally recognised as one of the best contemporary dance companies in the world and they are a proud South Australian export. The fact that they have invested in talent locally to nurture and train the next generation of dancers is to be commended.
“It is evident that they have attracted some of the best young dancers in this state and I am delighted to officially launch the Youth Ensemble today,” she said.
Australian Dance Theatre Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Old, said that is was essential for young dancers to know how to stand out from the crowd in this highly competitive industry.
“There are simply scores of young dancers in training at numerous institutions across Australia with a very limited number of jobs on offer. Excellent training, effective professional style, performance opportunities and a good CV, even at a young age, make all the difference. This is what we aim to give them to develop their professional dancing career.
“I have been blown away with the quality, the work ethic, the level of commitment and excellence that these dancers have displayed – it’s been awe-inspiring,” she said.
The ensemble is primarily taught by former Australian Dance Theatre dancer and Assistant Choreographer to Garry Stewart, Larissa McGowan.
“Her expertise as a teacher and dance maker is without question amongst the best in the country.
The Minister applauded Australian Dance Theatre for this initiative which aims to give young dancers unrivaled access to get a “foot in the door,” receive sought-after performance experience and be trained by some of the best in the business.
More than 50 hopefuls vied for admission at auditions this year in July. Eighteen boys and girls aged between 14-18 years were awarded one of the coveted spots into this elite training program which will kick start their dancing career.
The Youth Ensemble have spent the first part of their development under her watchful and nurturing eye and she has created their first work which is part of the 10, 11 & 12 October ChoreoLab program,” said Elizabeth Old.
Julianne Pierce, Executive Director of the Australian Dance Theatre said that in the lead up to the 50th year anniversary celebrations in 2015, the company will not only reflect on the past, but look to the future by fostering young talent, and the first ever Youth Ensemble will go some way in supporting that vision.
“These aspiring dancers will be pivotal in shaping the future of this program and its success,” she said.
The Youth Ensemble is proudly supported by Beach Energy who is a long standing supporter, nurturing emerging talent at Australian Dance Theatre.
Photography by Chris Herzfeld