Once the Company took its final curtain call, the spotlight was on Mr Li as he took the stage to announce the worthy promotions. “I would like to share exciting news with you. I am immensely proud to announce the promotions of Mia Heathcote and Patricio Revé to Principal Artists,” he said.
“I want to acknowledge and thank Mia and Patricio for the hard work, dedication, and perseverance they have demonstrated over the years. Tonight, they displayed exceptional professionalism, artistry, and technicality as Manon and Des Grieux,” Mr Li said.
Since joining Queensland Ballet as Company Artists, both Heathcote and Revé have been rising stars, escalating through the company ranks. Often seen performing in principal roles, including Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, they finally take on the official title of Principal Artist.
Positioned alongside the cast and crew before a standing ovation, Heathcote and Revé were thrilled to be promoted.
Aware of the upcoming promotion, Heathcote’s family made a special trip up from Melbourne to surprise her and join in on the celebrations. Mia grew up in a world of dance. Her parents, Steven Heathcote and Kathy Reid were both dancers with the Australian Ballet.
Mia Heathcote thanked everyone involved in the production said it was an honour playing the leading role. “Preparing for a role like Manon is iconic, and I think it is a role that every ballerina would love to do,” she said.
I really worked hard to dive into her character by researching the work, reading the book and watching past interpretations, how people have portrayed her, to not copy, but to understand her and take ideas and make them my own.”
Following the opening night performance, Mr Li reflected on Mia’s time at Queensland Ballet describing her as stars on the rise. “When Mia auditioned at the age of 17, she possessed an incredible quality and musicality as a student. There is no doubt in my mind that she is one of the top artists in the country at the moment,” he said.
He also lauded the abilities of her co-star Patricio Revé. “I first discovered Patricio when he was taking a master class with me at Cuban National Ballet School class where he was training. He has really matured since arriving at Queensland Ballet,’ he said.
“He came here a beautiful dancer, but his dancing now is so much more polished, his nuances, his artistry, his musicality, and his characterisation, all have developed to become a principal dancer,” said Mr Li.
Cuban-born Revé joined Heathcote and her family in the celebrations as he reflected on his family and the continual sacrifice he makes to dance at Queensland Ballet.
“It’s been three years since I’ve seen my family. I’m missing time with them and loved ones, but I’m here at this point. I love what I do, and I’m happy doing it,” he said.
Both Heathcote and Revé have three remaining shows of Manon at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. They will dance on Saturday 1 October, Thursday 6 October and Saturday 8 October. For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.
Image: Mia Heathcote and Patricio Reve in Queensland Ballet’s production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon – photo by David Kelly