First Indigenous Dancer Ella Havelka to Join The Australian Ballet
The Australian Ballet has announced that Ella Havelka will be joining the company.
She will be the first Indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet. Havelka will perform her final shows with Bangarra Dance Theatre in Brisbane this week and will start rehearsing with The Australian Ballet in Sydney in November.
Artistic Director David McAllister said he was thrilled that Havelka had accepted the offer to join the company.
“We’ve been watching Ella for many years and have witnessed her grow and develop into a beautiful artist. In particular, she was sensational in Warumuk – in the dark night, part of our Infinity program, which she also performed in New York on our 50th anniversary tour. We’re very excited that she will become part of The Australian Ballet family, and know that the ballet community will eagerly await her first performances with us,” said McAllister.
Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page said: “Ella is one of this country’s greatest young talents, and as she continues her journey as an Aboriginal woman and an Australian dance artist, we wish her every success. With her exceptional technique, strength and agility, her natural warmth and ability to connect with the audience, we know she will thrive with The Australian Ballet when she trades knee-pads for pointe shoes!”
Havelka, a descendant of the Wiradjuri people, graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2007 and toured with the company’s regional arm, The Dancers Company. She joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2008 and made her debut in Fire – A Retrospective in 2009.
Havelka said the offer was a wonderful opportunity.
“I feel very humbled and excited to be given this opportunity to return to the Ballet world with fresh eyes and new inspirations through my experiences since graduating from the Australian Ballet School. I am looking forward to the new challenges I will encounter and am honoured to be working with such amazing artists, dancers, mentors and choreographers within The Australian Ballet.
“Although I’m sad to be leaving Bangarra, a community I will always call family, I find comfort in knowing I will always carry their spirit with me on my journey and development as an artist. I can only hope to inspire others within the Indigenous community to pursue their own dreams and passions,” said Havelka.
The Australian Ballet and Bangarra have a long history of collaboration. Page’s first work for the company was Alchemy, in 1996. A year later, the two companies shared the stage in the critically acclaimed Rites, a work that was performed on tours of London and Paris.
His latest choreographic offering was Warumuk – in the dark night, which was performed in Melbourne, Sydney and New York this year.
The Australian Ballet are finishing off their 50th anniversary year with a bang, heading to Perth next week for the last stop of the Romeo & Juliet national tour, followed by the 50th Anniversary Gala in Melbourne from October 31.
The company then travel to Sydney with the Icons triple bill and end the year with Stephen Baynes’ magnificent Swan Lake, which due to popular demand is already almost at capacity. 2013 season packages are currently on sale, with single tickets going on sale in February next year.
For more information, visit australianballet.com.au, or find the company on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo Credit: Andy Solo (top) and Lisa Tomasetti (side)