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|Key people||Li Cunxin, Curatorial artistic director|
The Queensland Ballet, founded in 1960 by Charles Lisner OBE, is the premier ballet company of Queensland, Australia and is based in Brisbane. Queensland Ballet is one of only three full-time professional ballet companies in Australia.
With 23 dancers, Queensland Ballet is a company which presents a varied repertoire of dance works. In addition to performing in Brisbane, the company tours each year to centres large and small in regional Queensland, as well as making interstate and overseas visits.
Under the artistic direction of French-born François Klaus since 1998, the company presents approximately 100 performances each year. Its repertoire ranges from popular classics and full-length story ballets to new works in a variety of dance styles by reputed Australian and international choreographers, as well as emerging local talents. Works such as The Little Mermaid, which are designed especially to appeal to children and families, are another feature of the annual program.
The company’s home is the historic Thomas Dixon Centre for Dance in Brisbane's West End. Celebrating its centenary in 2008, the building was first built as a shoe factory in 1908. It now contains four large dance studios, one of which, the Charles Lisner Studio, can be adapted as a performance venue. These facilities enable the company to offer a full range of training and community access programs.
Queensland Ballet offers dance students from as young as 11 years training in the Junior Extension and Professional Year Programs, as well as in the Queensland Dance School of Excellence (a program offered in partnership with Education Queensland).
Lisner trained with Edouard Borovansky and danced with the Borovansky Australian Ballet prior to travelling to London to continue his dance studies and education with the Sadlers Wells Ballet School. He later joined the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. In 1953, Lisner returned to Australia to open the Lisner Ballet Academy, and in 1960, the Lisner Ballet Company.
The company was renamed Queensland Ballet in 1962 and became the first ballet ensemble in Australia to tour to regional centres throughout Australia. Eminent author and social scientist Ross Honeywill was one of the Queensland Ballet's many general managers - he served in the role between 1970 and 1973. In 1974, Charles Lisner resigned as Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Ballet, to be suceeeded by Harry Haythorne. Following Harry's departure in 1978, founding company member and principal dancer, Harold Collins, was appointed Artistic Director. Collins led the company until his retirement in 1997, maintaining Lisner's commitment to the creation of uniquely Australian dance, and to forging a strong, independent, original, and visually intriguing company.
Collins was succeeded in 1998 by François Klaus, a respected and experienced European dancer, teacher and choreographer. Under Klaus's artistic stewardship, Queensland Ballet has continued to expand, retaining and remaining a significant force in the Australian cultural landscape. In 1981, Roma Egan retired from the Australian Ballet, in order to take up the position as assistant artistic director for the Queensland Ballet. In July 2012, renowned Chinese dancer Li Cunxin was named as Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet.
- "History". Queensland Ballet. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Schmidt, Lucinda, Sydney Morning Herald. 15 September 2010.