Ballet Star Steven Heathcote Rejoins the Australian Ballet
Legendary Australian ballet star Steven Heathcote has returned to The Australian Ballet as the company's newest Ballet Master and Repetiteur. Heathcote's acclaimed ability to bring characters to life is a coup for the company as it prepares for the Australian premiere of La Bayadère, a dramatic story ballet on an epic scale.
Despite retiring from The Australian Ballet in 2007 Heathcote has maintained strong links with the company, returning numerous times over the last seven years in a variety of guest and coaching roles. Most recently, he danced the role of Monsieur GM - one of ballet's great villains - in the company's production of Manon. Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister said that he's excited that Heathcote will once again have a formal position with the company, working with the newest generation of stars.
"Steven and I moved from Perth together as teenagers to join The Australian Ballet School. Since then we have both made Melbourne and The Australian Ballet our homes. It feels right that we will once again be working together as the company prepares to launch a new season and explore the possibilities of the art form." said McAllister.
"Steven is a brilliant teacher and mentor. He will be an enormous asset to the dancers of The Australian Ballet, both present and future."
Heathcote commences his position in time for rehearsals of the company's next season, La Bayadère. Set in a romanticised vision of India, this spectacular re-imagining of a 19th century classic makes its Australian premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne on 28 August for 12 performances only, before opening at Sydney Opera House from 6 November.
Born in Western Australia, Steven Heathcote took up ballet lessons at the age of ten. He was accepted into The Australian Ballet School at the age of 16 and was offered a contract with The Australian Ballet in 1983.
Steven experienced a rapid rise to the rank of principal artist, a position he sustained for 20 years. He was invited to perform as guest artist with some of the world's major ballet companies, including American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet.
After retiring from the dance stage in 2007 as The Australian Ballet's longest serving principal artist, Steven appeared in the 2009 feature film Mao's Last Dancer and has been actively engaged in specialised coaching for dancers, public speaking, presenting and acting.
In 2010 Steven conceived and directed a new production of Handel's Julius Caesar for Victorian Opera. In 2012 he returned to opera as choreographer and assistant director to John Bell for the Victorian Opera's new production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
In 2013, Steven played Don Quixote in The Australian Ballet's production of the ballet, and was assistant director to John Bell for Opera Australia's new production of Tosca.
Steven lives in Melbourne with his wife Kathy; they have two adult children. He joins The Australian Ballet's staff as a ballet master and repetiteur in 2014.