SYDNEY CITY BALLET HISTORY
2019 Calendar of Events
Sunday 15 December 2019
The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
Wednesday 18 - Sunday 22 December 2019
Chatswood Concourse, Sydney
SCB & Guest Artists of The Australian Ballet
The Sydney City Ballet – A Brief History
The Sydney City Ballet was formed by Tanya Pearson under the name The Northside Ballet Company in 1971. It held its first public season – a full length production of THE NUTCRACKER – at the Cremorne Orpheum Sydney the same year, performing to an estimated audience of 10,000.
In 1972 a further public season was held at the Cremorne Orpheum and by the end of 1973 a decision was made to commence a Schools Program which was extremely successful. It is estimated that more than 60,000 children saw the Company perform and the reception was very enthusiastic. In that same year the Company held a two week season at the Marion Street Theatre during the school holidays.
1975 saw the continuation of the Schools program and additionally the Company performed at the Willoughby Arts Festival, the Opera House and toured the Pacific on a Russian cruise ship.
In early 1975 The Company changed its name to Sydney City Ballet Company and welcomed the Hon. Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman Nicholas Shehadie as its Patron. In 1981 The Company presented THE NUTCRACKER at The Regent Theatre, Sydney with international Guest Artists – Wayne Eagling (from the Royal Ballet Company) and Danilo Radojevic (then Principal of the American Ballet Theatre). Over 12,000 school children attended this season and response to the Company performances was extremely positive from Schools and the general public alike.
In 1982 the Company came of age, appointed Sir Robert Helpmann as its Patron and went on to perform season of four ballets at the Regent Theatre – LES SYLPHIDE, PRINCE IGOR, FRANCESCA DI RIMINI and COPPELIA (produced by Barbara Chambers) and featuring Guest Artists Reda Sheta (Principal Soloist with the Deutsche Opera, Berlin); Danilo Radojevic and Yokoi Ichino (from New York) together with Robert Olup as Dr Coppelius with musical accompaniment from the Australian Chamber Orchestra. 1983 the Company conducted an extensive NSW Tour under the auspices of the Arts Council, visiting many regional towns performing 41 performances in total with a total attendance of more than 13,300. The Company also performed at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide where Hassan Sheta’s new work BALLET EGYPTIEN was presented together with a tour by Stars of the Metropolitan Opera, NY. For the first time the Company performed in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.
Following changes to State Government and loss of state funding, the Company ceased operation as a professional company in 1984 and reformed as the Sydney City Youth Ballet Company (SCYB) – subsidised by Tanya Pearson and the Tanya Pearson Academy.
SCYB continued to stage annual full-length productions at the Glen St Theatre, Seymour Centre, Footbridge Theatre and NIDA Parade Theatre, and more recently The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood.
Productions have included A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE NUTCRACKER, CINDERELLA (choreographer Hassan Sheta), THE POLAR EXPRESS (choreographer Paul Boyd) with original music score commissioned, and the MRS P CELEBRATION GALA in 2012.
The SCYB has engaged numerous professional Guest Artists from Australia’s leading ballet companies to perform in its annual seasons. Some of these Guest Artists have included: ·
- Lucinda Dunn & Robert Curran The Australian Ballet ·
- Ako Kondo & Chengwu Guo The Australian Ballet ·
- Ty King Wall & Robyn Hendricks The Australian Ballet ·
- Kevin Jackson & Amanda McGuigan The Australian Ballet ·
- Halaina Hills & Christopher Rodgers Wilson The Australian Ballet ·
- Yosvani Ramos & Kristy Corea The Australian Ballet ·
- Colin Peasley The Australian Ballet Paul Saliba The Australian Ballet ·
- Amanda McGuigan & Ty King Wall The Australian Ballet ·
- Cameron Holmes The Australian Ballet ·
- Sharni Spencer & Nathan Brook The Australian Ballet ·
- Wayne Eagling The Royal Ballet ·
- Danilo Radojevic American Ballet Theatre ·
- James Lyttle & Ariana Hond Queensland Ballet ·
- Mia Heathcote & Joel Woellner Queensland Ballet ·
- Sergiu Pobereznic Birmingham Royal Ballet ·
- Evan Loudon Scottish National Ballet ·
- Hayley Page, Matthieu Rouaux, Priscilla Tselikova, Konstantin Tselikov Hamburg Ballet ·
- Michael Braun Former Queensland Ballet & Royal New Zealand Ballet ·
- Daniel Asher Smith Former Salzburg Ballett
- Anastasia Bertinshaw Former Salzburg Ballett ·
In 2015 Australian Ballet’s longest serving Principal Ballerina Lucinda Dunn was appointed Artistic Director of The Sydney City Youth Ballet. The company staged its first season under Lucinda’s direction at the newly built Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. The season of THE NUTCRACKER, with new choreography by Paul Boyd in Act II and featuring Australian Ballet Principal Artists Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo, was a sell-out success. That same year, Sydney City Youth Ballet teamed up with Friends of The Australian Ballet to host the first of its “Exclusive FAB Experience with The Sydney City Youth Ballet”, offering patrons signed programs and an intimate meet and greet with Lucinda Dunn, Principal Guest Artists and SCYB performers.
In 2016 the SCYB re-staged THE NUTCRACKER at The Concourse Theatre with Principal Guest Artists from The Australian Ballet – Robyn Hendricks and Ty King Wall and the continued popularity of this production has seen THE NUTCRACKER go on to become an annual favourite at The Concourse Theatre.
In 2017 the SCYB teamed up with the Sydney Youth Orchestra to stage its first collaborative season of TOGETHER LIVE featuring guest artists from The Queensland Ballet Joel Woellner and Mia Heathcote. Two new works were commissioned by choreographers Wim Broeckx and Adam Blanch.
2018 saw the return of TOGETHER LIVE at The Concourse with the SCYB & Sydney Youth Orchestra staging a triple bill featuring Maina Gielgud’s GISELLE ACT II, PAQUITA and a newly commissioned contemporary work POWERHOUSE by Lucas Jervies. The SCYB toured the TRIPLE BILL program to Port Macquarie Glasshouse Theatre as well as Wollongong IPAC. The Sydney City Ballet reformed in January 2019 as a non-profit Company, continuing its vision of uniting the stars of today with the stars of tomorrow and bringing quality ballet to audiences throughout Sydney and greater NSW.
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