Following the announcement of the 2022 season, Queensland Ballet has announced its Company line up for next year. Artistic Director, Li Cunxin AO said he is extremely proud of the Company today and is excited to see the new talent coming through the ranks.
“Queensland Ballet is committed to presenting world-standard ballet productions while at the same time providing training pathways for dancers, through our Jette Parker Young Artist Program, Pre-Professional Program (PPP) and through our Queensland Ballet Academy Program,” he said.
Li is celebrating a decade with Queensland Ballet in 2022 and has announced his contract has been extended until 2025. “I am looking forward to delivering spectacular ballet in the coming years,” said Mr Li.
We have a wonderful Company, and I am proud of what we’ve built up. We have world class dancers to steer us through 2022 with challenging works such as Manon, Giselle and the triple bill titled Li’s Choice,” he said.
2021 saw promotions to Principal Artist for Neneka Yoshida and Joel Woellner, with Patricio Revé promoted to Senior Soloist. “Each year I see incredible growth and improvement in our dancers, it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of my job” said Mr Li.
Moving up to Jette Parker Young Artists from the PPP in 2022 are Heidi Craig, Sophie Kerr, Edison Manuel, Matthew Maxwell, Frederick Montgomery, Joshua Ostermann, Sophie Smith.
I am incredibly proud of the young talent we’ve nurtured and continue to nurture. In 2022 we’ll be welcoming six Jette Parker Young Artists to join the ranks of Queensland Ballet as Company Artists. They are Callum Mackie, Briana McAllen, Heidi Freeman, Ines Hargreaves, Kayla Van Den Bogert, Lewis Formby.
Externally we’re bringing in three Prix de Lausanne finalists; Laura Viola (Portugal) and Samaël Maurice (Canada) as Jette Parker Young Artists, and Francisco Gomes (Portugal) as a Company Artist. Keigo Muto (West Australian Ballet) and Kaho Kato (Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse) will also join as Company Artists
Also as Jette Parker Young Artists two dancers from the Australian Ballet School; Jessica Stratton-Smith, Luca Armstrong, and Amber Mitchell-Knight (National Theatre Ballet School). This is the first influx of new dancers since January 2020.
“COVID made life difficult for all arts organisations. After a series of lockdowns, cancelled shows and dancer’s working from home, our priority for 2021 was stability for the Company, which is why all the dancers’ contracts were extended last year,” said Mr Li.
In 2022 one of QB’s favourite son’s will be leaving the stage. After six years with Queensland Ballet and 14 years as a Principal Dancer, Camilo Ramos will be hanging up his professional ballet shoes and moving into a new role at the Queensland Ballet Academy.
Ramos has been part of the Academy’s workshops program for many years and has always been keen to assist with teaching and coaching when his performance schedule allowed. He’ll be taking up the position of Academy Teacher.
QB Academy Director Christian Tátchev has welcomed the news. “Camilo will be a wonderful addition to the team and brings with him an outstanding knowledge of the industry, a strong passion for teaching and what is required in the development of young dancers. I look forward to working with him and watching our students grow as young professionals under his guidance,” said Mr Tátchev.
Ramos said he’s looking forward to the move. “I’m honoured and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to join the Queensland Ballet Academy as a teacher. It will be exciting to take on this new role. I hope to help and inspire the next generation of dancers,” he said.
He said he’ll remember his time at Queensland Ballet fondly. “There have been so many highlights. Some of my favourite roles are; James in La Sylphide, Puck and Oberón in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Pan in its namesake production, Solor and Golden Idol in La Bayadere , and performing in Jirí Kylián’s Soldier’s Mass,” said Ramos.
“I’m so grateful along the way I had opportunity to work with choreographers such as Ben Stevenson, Liam Scarlett, Greg Horsman, Natalie Weir” he said.
Ramos’ last performance will be The Nutcracker dancing the role of the Prince alongside his fiancé, Yanela Piñera, as the Sugar Plum Fairy. “It will be very special to share my last show with my fiancé, Yanela. We have shared so many beautiful and unique moments on stage throughout my career,” said Ramos.
“I still remember the first time we danced together 13 years ago, and that performance will be in my heart forever. Dancing with her has always been a highlight,” he said.
Ramos has been a wonderful artist and has been an inspiration for the Company and audience alike. I have no doubt he’ll make a tremendous contribution to the Academy,” said Mr Li.
Also leaving the Company is Eriko Nakajima, Lucy Christodoulou, Talia Fidra, Alyssa Kelty, Oscar Delbao and Daniel Kempson. We will miss them and wish them the best in their future endeavours.
For more information about Queensland Ballet and their 2022 season, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.
Image: The Queensland Ballet – photo by David Kelly