• Damian Smith, Patron, Melbourne Academy of the Arts
Damian Smith, Patron, Melbourne Academy of the Arts

Damian was raised in Newcastle, NSW beginning his ballet training at Robin Hicks School of Dance, then The McDonald College, he left Australia at 16yrs old to go to The School of American Ballet in NY, joining the French company Ballet Du Nord as a Soloist in 1992 – 1996 then The San Francisco Ballet Company in 1996 – 2015 becoming a Principle dancer in 2001 for the past 14 years of his career until retiring in 2015. He has performed over 110 ballets in more then 25 countries, and throughout the last 20 years has been a Principal Guest Artist with; The New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Dutch National Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Hong Kong Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, The Australian Ballet.

He has also starred and performed in many Gala’s and Special Events, such as the “Nijinsky Gala” in Hamburg, The Australian Ballets 50th Anniversary and the “Ballet Stars Of America” for 4 years running. As Principal Dancer Damian performed over 200 ballets from traditional to contemporary, with more than 25 ballets created for him. He has collaborated with globally renowned choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, John Neumier, Mark Morris, Wayne McGregor, Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmansky, Jiri Killian and William Forsyth and performed as guest artist with the NewYork City Ballet, Pacific North West Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet. As Principal Dancer Damian performed over 200 ballets from traditional to contemporary, with more than 25 ballets created for him. He has collaborated with globally renowned choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, John Neumier, Mark Morris, Wayne McGregor, Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmansky, Jiri Killian and William Forsyth and performed as guest artist with the NewYork City Ballet, Pacific North West Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet.

Damian was appointed to one of seven positions for artists in transition across the United States to study under Michael Kaiser in the DeVos Program for Management of the Arts, leading to his position as Artistic Director of the Satellite Collective in New York City and its seven art entities including: dance, poetry, opera, music, media, theatre and visual arts. As Managing Director of the international stars of Ballet he produced a tour which bought eight of the world’s best dancers to Australia in 2008. From classical to contemporary, the Australian audience was exposed to new choreography and world class performers. Exploring other creative outlets Damian has created a number of short films, one of which was accepted into multiple film festivals across the globe and exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art reflecting his Australian Aboriginal roots, ‘Arrellah’, in an original series of dance paintings and video performance. His teaching and staging of works include pieces by Christopher Wheeldon for the Royal Ballet of London and the San Francisco Ballet. Damian is also the recipient of the the Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2015 for “Sustained Achievement”.

  • Damian Smith, Patron, Melbourne Academy of the Arts