West Australian Ballet Company (WAB) bids farewell to its Artistic Director of ten years, Aurélien Scannella, who has made an indelible impact on the Company and its productions. Under his leadership WAB has garnered critical acclaim and cemented its position as a world-class ballet company.
Since joining the Company in 2013, Scannella’s leadership has resulted in growing the Company repertoire, number and diversity of dancers, attracted world-renowned choreographers, and gained WAB international recognition for popular new works like Dracula and Swan Lake.
“I am proud of what my team and I have accomplished with the Company over the past ten years,” said Aurélien. “I am especially proud of my dancers, who have all performed unsparingly and generously with their hearts and souls.”
“They shared my goal to bring the highest technical standard to the forefront that enabled the Company to claim success.”
“The time has come for me to leverage my wonderful experience here at WAB and to go forward looking for a bigger challenge in the ballet world,” said Aurélien.
“On behalf of the Board, we thank Aurélien for his significant contribution to WAB over the past decade. His ambition and tenacity have made the Company what it is today and created a legacy of artistic vibrancy for future Seasons,” said Chair Ingrid Puzey.
As Aurélien departs, WAB is delighted to announce its 2024 Guest Artistic Director, David McAllister AC – a renowned Australian ballet dancer and choreographer, who served as the Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet Company for 20 years, from 2001 to 2020.
Perth-born McAllister originally trained here in Western Australia, before joining The Australian Ballet in 1983 quickly rising to the rank of Principal dancer in 1989.
“I am very honoured to be given this opportunity to return to Perth and spend the year with West Australian Ballet. I look forward to working with the company that shaped my early years in ballet,” said Mr McAllister.
Throughout his career, McAllister made numerous guest appearances worldwide, including dancing with Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours List.
In 2023 McAllister was appointed interim Artistic Director of Royal New Zealand Ballet until the company successfully contracts a new Artistic Director.
“The Board and I are confident that under David’s sage leadership and guidance, WAB will continue to captivate audiences with its artistic excellence and commitment to enrich people’s lives through dance,” said Chair Ingrid Puzey.
Aurélien will remain with West Australian Ballet to oversee Season 2023. For more information about West Australian Ballet, visit: www.waballet.com.au for details.
Image: Aurélien Scannella – photo by Frances Andrijich