Sydney Dance Company has announced the appointment of Lou Oppenheim as its new Executive Director. This follows the resignation of Anne Dunn in September to become the Executive Director and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Theatre Company.
Lou is a highly experienced and strategic arts leader, passionate about inspiring audiences through the power of live performance, engaging with the broader community and fostering the next generation of artists and arts workers.
She has been Director of Production & Events at the Sydney Opera House since 2019, with a broad portfolio encompassing venue and event sales, production services, event operations and planning, and recording and broadcast services.
Lou was previously Create Infrastructure Senior Manager (Create NSW), Circus Oz General Manager, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Director of Operations. She began her professional career with Boston Consulting Group. Lou is also a Board Member and Treasurer of Theatre Network Australia and deputy chair of ELISION Ensemble.
“I am thrilled to welcome Lou to the Sydney Dance Company family. Lou represents a tremendous cultural fit, with a highly engaged and thoughtful leadership style and the capabilities to build on the strong foundations laid by Anne,” said Sydney Dance Company Chair Brett Clegg.
“Sydney Dance Company remains unashamedly ambitious, and Lou brings the skills and experience to help us scale new heights. Our Board was particularly attracted by her strategic acumen and depth of experience in the live performance industry.”
“The coming year promises to be another significant one with a packed program of shows, training, and education activities. It’s great that Lou will be at the helm alongside Raf for this next phase of our journey,” said Mr Clegg.
The appointment follows a global search undertaken by the Sydney Dance Company Board with the assistance of Challis & Company.
“I am delighted to welcome Lou as our new Executive Director and look forward to working in partnership with her,” said Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. “Her breadth of experience is outstanding.”
“Lou joins us at an exciting time for Sydney Dance Company as we embark on a year incorporating six world premieres, two encore works, national and international tours and a new independent dance season.”
“There is much to achieve, and I know that Lou joins us with great ambition to propel the Company to further success,” said Mr Bonachela.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside everyone at Sydney Dance Company,” said Lou Oppenheim. “I have long admired the energy and artistry of the Company’s dancers, as well as the organisation’s vision, broad community reach and strong commercial foundation.”
“I pay tribute to the leadership of Anne Dunn and look forward to collaborating with Raf and the Board at this exciting time in the Company’s history, including next year’s return to a full schedule of local, national and international performances,” said Ms Oppenheim.
Lou will join Sydney Dance Company in February 2022 and will report to the Sydney Dance Company Board.
Sydney Dance Company will open Sydney Festival on 6 January with Ohad Naharin’s Decadance in the Drama Theatre – Sydney Opera House, before embarking on an international tour to France and New York in March, prior to Sydney performances of Rafael Bonachela’s ab [intra] at the Roslyn Packer Theatre: 2 – 11 June. For more information, visit: www.sydneydancecompany.com for details.
Image: Lou Oppenheim – courtesy of Sydney Dance Company