An extraordinary success story for Queensland Ballet, the centre will be a world-class performing arts destination and culture precinct set to benefit the arts sector and the wider community.
Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, Li Cunxin AO said the reopening marks the realisation of a vision to make the centre a venue for all – a true community asset.
“The redevelopment of this historic building is a truly transformational moment for the arts in Brisbane. More than an incredible home for Queensland Ballet, the new Thomas Dixon Centre – as a centre for culture and community – will impact the Brisbane artistic landscape for years to come,” said Mr Li.
An innovative design combining the old and the new, the revitalised centre features six dance studios, a 350-seat-theatre, production and costume workshops, stunning public art, a rooftop terrace, and café.
Executive Director of Queensland Ballet Dilshani Weerasinghe said the centre incorporates spaces for all to ensure it is a destination for all.
“Engagement activities within Thomas Dixon Centre – which include hospitality spaces and opportunities for the arts sector and our broader community – are designed to enable access for as many as possible,” said Ms Weerasinghe.
“We understand our responsibility as a Queensland arts organisation to ensure that we balance our artistic vision for Queensland Ballet with our wish to enable vibrant and meaningful outcomes for as many people as possible at our newly refreshed Thomas Dixon Centre and throughout Queensland.”
“We thank our donors, corporate partners and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Queensland Ballet and Thomas Dixon Centre teams who will be working tenaciously to deliver as many opportunities as possible to as many people as possible.”
“We are looking forward to building connections, supporting the sector, and collaborating with fellow arts organisations and artists,” said Ms Weerasinghe.
Home to Queensland Ballet for the last 30 years, the redevelopment represents the culmination of ten years of fundraising by Queensland Ballet, as well as support from the Queensland Government and Federal Government.
“As a heritage building on an inner-city site, it wasn’t the easiest option to rejuvenate and restore the Thomas Dixon Centre, but Queensland Ballet wanted to remain in West End as we felt a sense of neighbourhood pride.”
“We had faith that it would house us with care for years to come, and a sense of responsibility to restore it to its former glory,” said Mr Li.
Jocelyn Dixon, the great-granddaughter of Thomas Dixon said her, and her family are delighted the Thomas Dixon Centre has been revitalised.
“It is marvellous that the building is still standing and houses such a prestigious company for the arts in Queensland. We are pleased that Queensland Ballet have established a centre for their perpetuity,” said Ms Dixon.
“Thomas Dixon would be absolutely overjoyed and very proud to see that the centre is being used as Queensland Ballet’s home.”
While restoring the site’s heritage to its former glory was critical to the redevelopment, the centre will also be the first performing arts building in the world to achieve the WELL™ accreditation – a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that prioritise the health and well-being of occupants.
“The redevelopment of TDC has been designed with QB’s most valuable asset in mind – its people. We have designed a home for all, aiming to improve comfort, drive better choices and generally enhance, not compromise, the health and wellness of our residents and visitors,” said Ms Weerasinghe.
Queensland Ballet is passionate about sharing its home with its community and is planning on hosting a Community Day in the future.
“We are looking forward to opening our doors and sharing our home with the wider community. Our home is for our people who work here, and the people who will come here. We have a great responsibility to create an environment where people want to come back again and again,” said Mr Li.
For more information on the Thomas Dixon Centre or the Community Day, visit: www.thomasdixoncentre.com.au For more information about the Queensland Ballet, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.
Image: Thomas Dixon Centre – photo by Johnny Harkin