Patrons

The Academy are extremely blessed and grateful to have such talented, supportive and esteemed dancers, teachers and professionals who endorse and acknowledge the Academy as an elite centre of training in Classical Ballet and Dance.

Our Patrons are at the heart of our organisation – giving essential  support to the Academy. They aid us to train and develop a new generation of elite dancers through regular guest teaching or adjudicating examinations/auditions at the Academy. This provides the Academy students with world class opportunities and creates a close involvement with industry professionals and dancers of such a high calibre world wide.

Dame Lucette Aldous A.C

Former Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet & The Australian Ballet

New Zealand-born Lucette Aldous trained in Brisbane and Sydney before entering the Royal Ballet School in 1955 on a Royal Academy of Dancing scholarship. In 1957 she began her professional career with Ballet Rambert. Following her time with Rambert she danced with London Festival Ballet and then with the Royal Ballet. During her time in England she danced the lead in many of the traditional classics, such as Giselle, Coppelia and La Sylphide, and appeared in many contemporary ballets including Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden.

She first worked with Rudolf Nureyev during her time at the Royal Ballet, partnering him in Nutcracker during a European tour. On her return to Australia in 1970 Aldous made her debut with the Australian Ballet as a guest artist, and the following year, 1971, was appointed a resident principal dancer. Her partnership with Nureyev developed at this time when Nureyev asked her to partner him in his production of Don Quixote for the Australian Ballet, which premiered in Adelaide on 28 March 1970. The role of Kitri particularly suited the vivacious, effervescent and technically accomplished Aldous and in 1973 she repeated her stage success as Kitri and as Nureyev’s partner when the Australian Ballet filmed the Nureyev production of Don Quixote.

Another milestone in her career occurred in 1975 when Ronald Hynd created the role of Valencienne on her in his production of The Merry Widow for the Australian Ballet. During the 1970s Aldous continued to guest with companies in England, America and Europe and had a featured role with Fernando Bujones in the film The Turning Point.

After retiring from full-time performing in the mid 1970s Aldous taught at the Australian Ballet School and then in 1982 joined the faculty of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Edith Cowan University, Perth. She and husband Alan Alder also spent a number of months in St Petersburg studying the teaching methods and philosophy behind the Vaganova system of training as espoused by the Kirov ballet school.

Aldous has also been an advocate of Boris Kniaseff’s floor barre as a system of training. Now retired from full-time work at WAAPA, Aldous continues to live in Perth and to coach, adjudicate and teach. She received the award for services to dance at the 2001 Australian Dance Awards and in 2009 was honoured with the award for lifetime achievement. Lucette received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Edith Cowan University in 1999, and in 2008 she was made a Dame of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Lucette Aldous was recently made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest merit in the Australia Day Honours List. From henceforth she’s gained the distinction “AC” to accompany her name.

Lucette Aldous AC is a legend in the Australian dance community, inspiring everyone as she continues working into her 80th year, having now instructed young dancers in Perth’s ballet schools for quite some time after retiring from an impressive career on stage. Her award is for “eminent service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a principal artist at the national and international level, to dance education, and as a mentor and role model for young performers”. This award arrives about 10 years after she was recognised at The Australian Dance Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award at age 70. She is thrilled to receive her AC designation.

Ken Ludden

Director Margot Fonteyn Academy, New York

Kenneth Ludden first met Dame Margot Fonteyn when he was a ballet student in Central Pennsylvania. He was taken by his teachers to the graduation ceremony of the National Ballety of Washington, DC’s Academic School where Fonteyn presented diplomas to graduates. After that initial meeting, Fonteyn took an interest in the young dancer, eventually arranging for him to study at the Royal Ballet School. While in England, Ludden lived with Fonteyn’s mother, Hilda ‘BQ’ Hookham.

The association between Fonteyn and Ludden continued throughout the rest of her life. Once Ludden’s own ballet career began, he and Fonteyn worked together to form the plan for an International Fine Arts Academy. This development and planning period lasted for 8 years, and then, in the last 4 years of Fonteyn’s life, the two of them started to actively pursue seed money and funding for the proposed Institute. Fonteyn began teaching at the Joffrey Ballet School as a special guest, and took the opportunity to accelerate her work with Ludden to form the plan for a ballet academy within the planned Institute. Money did not immediately come through, and Fonteyn’s failing health and eventual death, the project never got off the ground.

Ludden worked with her family and close associates to plan her Washington, DC memorial service at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, and helped with the tribute at the Lincoln Center Library for the Arts. He also directed the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute Tribute to Nureyev after he died. Ludden has gone on to write articles about Fonteyn and Nureyev, and is currently working on a book about his close work with the legendary ballerina.

Ken Ludden entered the professional performing arts world as a child with early appearances in television productions in the 1950s. He specialized in classical ballet, having an international career as a performer for two decades, and due to his close relationship with Dame Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991) he worked together with her for the final 12 years of her life to develop the educational program of The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet, which he currently directs.

His performing career includes far more than classical ballet. He has sung professionally in classical, church and popular music; appeared in film and on television as an actor; has published many books from entertainment, to fiction, to textbooks, has choreographed two dozen classical ballets and many musical comedies; has served as curator and writer for the Max Waldman Archives; and many other areas.

He is an international teacher of classical ballet and lectures on many diverse topics. His science-fiction novel “Second Pass” began a 9-book series that is soon to be presented as a traditional RPG system; and his novel (originally published as a magazine serial) “Mary Go-Round” has been turned into a stage play (A Time Below) and is being prepared for a 24-episode mega series (Mary Go-Round).

Ludden has recently published “My Margot” which is memoir/biography of his long relationship with Dame Margot Fonteyn. The book is being edited by Judith Proctor. It came out at the same time as his new and greatly anticipated textbook on Pointe Technique.

Daniel Gaudiello

Former Principal Dancer, The Australia Ballet

Brisbane-born Daniel Gaudiello strapped on his first pair of dancing shoes at the age of six at the Johnny Young Talent School, then at Promenade Dance Academy. Later he completed the Queensland Dance School of Excellence and Queensland Ballet professional year before being accepted into The Australian Ballet School, where he participated as an exchange student with The National Ballet School of Canada and the School of American Ballet.

Daniel joined The Australian Ballet in 2004 and in early 2007 participated in classes with some of the world’s finest ballet companies in London, Amsterdam, Munich and Paris. Daniel made his choreographic debut with a piece called Notte in Bianco for ‘Bodytorque. To the Pointe’ in 2009 and was promoted to principal artist in 2010.

Daniel’s repertoire highlights include;

  • Franz in Coppélia 2010,
  • Basilio in Don Quixote 2010,
  • Lescaut in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon 2008,
  • Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum© 2004,
  • Petrouchka in Petrouchka 2009.

Daniel’s guest appearances include;

  • English National Ballet in Le Spectre de la rose,
  • London and Barcelona 2009 Awards,
  • Australian Dance Award nomination for Dyad 1929 2010,
  • Green Room Award nomination for Petrouchka 2010,
  • Helpmann Award nomination for Graeme Murphy’s The Silver Rose 2010
  • Telstra Ballet Dancer Award Winner 2007,
  • Freda Irving Scholarship 2006,
  • BJ Sutton Scholarship.

He won the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award for 2007 and was guest artist with the English National Ballet  for performances ofLe Spectre de la rose  in London and Barcelona, 2009.

Since leaving The Australian Ballet, Gaudiello has performed as guest artist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, dancing Count Albrecht in Giselle in 2016 and Don José in Carmen in 2017.

Selected repertoire

Choreograph

  • Tristan and Isolde for Bodytorque.Muses, 2011
  • South of Eden for Bodytorque.a la Mode, 2010

Awards

  • Australian Dance Awards, Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer, 2011 for Franz in Coppelia
  • Telstra Ballet Dancer Award, 2007

Damian Smith

Former Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet

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.

Damian is also the recipient of the the Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2015 for “Sustained Achievement”.

Adam Thurlow

Former Artist, Paris Opera Ballet, English National Ballet & The Australian Ballet

Adam Thurlow was born in Melbourne and trained with his twin brother at Lorraine Blackburn School of Dance and the Australian Ballet School. Adam’s professional career began with the Australian Ballet under the direction of Ross Stretton where he performed many soloist and principal roles. He was promoted to the rank of soloist after only two years.

In 2002 Adam joined the English National Ballet as a soloist dancing many lead classical and contemporary roles. In 2003 Adam became the first and only Australian to join the Opera National de Paris where he worked with many of the world’s top choreographers. In August 2006 Adam returned to the Australian Ballet & was also made a Principal of Melbourne Ballet Company before leaving for a freelance career in 2008. Adam has had the great pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nureyev, Balanchine, Cranko, MacMillan, Killian, Bejart, Forsythe, Duato, Taylor and Hoy.

Career & Repertoire highlights include lead roles in the following ballets;

Don Quixote, Manon, Giselle, Swan Lake, Apollo, Theme and Variations, Nutcracker
Coppelia, Etudes, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Cinderella, Paquita, Le Sacre du Pritemps.
Adam graduated with Honours and as Dux of his year at the Australian Ballet School.  In December 2010 Adam received an “Australasian Dance Assessment Sponsorship for Excellence” for Project 8 “Palette” with the Melbourne Ballet Company.

Employment History

  • The Paris Opera company (Opera National de Paris)
  • The Australian Ballet
  • Melbourne Ballet Company
  • English National Ballet
  • The Australian Ballet School
  • Cecchetti Ballet Australia Inc

Image courtesy of James Braund Photography

Jiayin Du

Former Artist, The Australian Ballet, Currently Teacher at The Australian Ballet School

Jia Yin Du born in Liao Ning, China began his dance training with Liao Ning Dance School of China. His natural talent was noticed at an early age at a competition in Paris in 1996 where he was awarded the Silver Medal.

In 1997, Jia Yin took China and Tokyo by storm winning First Prize/Gold Medal in two competitions: the China National Ballet Competition and Tokyo Asia Pacific International Ballet Competition. The only direction was upwards from there as Jia Yin‘s brilliant dancing won not only the competitions but a dual scholarship from the Australian Ballet (Gary Norman) and Jean Wong Ballet (Hong Kong) propelling his career internationally.

In 1999 he started training at the Australian Ballet School. Within a short span of a year, he joined the Australian Ballet Company and this marked the beginning his diverse and lasting relationship with the company. His career began under the directorship of Ross Stretton and concluded under David McAllister’s artistic direction.

As a talented and energetic artist, Jia Yin performed many soloist and leading roles in major classical ballets such as Don Quixote, Coppelia, La Bayadere, La Sylphide, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Spartacus, Raymonda, Merry Widow, La Fille Mal Gardee, Manon and Three Musketeers.

Amongst his highlights have been showpiece pas de deux such as the Flower Festival of Genzano, La Favorita, Paquita, Flames of Paris and Grand Pas Classique.

His modern and one act repertoire includes William Forsythe’s The Vertiginious Thrill of Exactitude, Jiri, Kylian’s Stepping Stones, Stephen Baynes’ Beyond Bach, Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Nicholai Fontain’s Almost Tango, Stanton Welch’s Velocity, Krzysztof Pastor’s Symphonie Fantastique, Nacho Duato in Por Vos Muero and Natalie Weir’s Mirror, Mirror. Also Symphony in C, Voluntaries, Suite en Blanc, Etudes and Les Presages.

Jia Yin has been Principal Guest Artist for the Australian Ballet’s Dancer’s Company, and Liao Ning Ballet of China Gala Performance.
Image courtesy of James Braund Photography

Kellymarie Sullivan

Soloist, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin,

Kellymarie Sullivan received her classical ballet training at the National Theatre Ballet School & Australian Opera Ballet Company. She is currently a Principal in the Staatstheatre Shwerin in Switzerland and has been with the company since 2004.

One of the predominant stages of her dancing career included Companies in Sydney, Melbourne, Frankfurt/Main, St. Gallen and Nordhausen. Her wide-ranging repertoire includes the big title roles of character portrayal.

She has performed in many leads and danced as Victoria in “Dorian Gray”, the fall in the “Four Seasons”, the woman in “Lover‘s Tale” (Choreography: Marc Bogaerts), the Cassandra in “Oristie”, the title role in “Lysistrata” (choreography: Dominique Efstratiou), Titania in “A new Midsummer Night’s Dream” ( choreography: Annett Göhre and Cayetano Soto) as well as lead roles in “Jeanne d’Arc”, “Antigone”, “Triassic Bolero”, “Rite of Spring” and “Elvis”.

In 2006 she received from the Society of Friends of the Mecklenburg State Theatre Schwerin the first dancer to the Conrad-Ekhof prize, which is awarded to exceptionally talented young artists.

  • Soloist at the Stadtheater, St Gallen Switzerland
  • Soloist at Jubileum The Knabenkantorei, Basel Theatre
  • Soloist at Klangbilderverein, Zug Circo Fantastico; Lorzensaacham Ch: Oliver Dahler;
  • Soloist Stadttheater Nordhausen, Germany;
  • Currently Soloist Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin

Image courtesy of Kelly Sullivan

Michael Braun

Former Principal Artist, Queensland Ballet & Royal New Zealand Ballet

Michael Braun has had an illustrious dancing career. From Australia and New Zealand through America, Canada, Europe, South Africa and China,

he has danced many roles such as the prince in Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty and more including classical and contemporary repertoire by Forsyth, Dawson, Fruitos, Elo, Balanchine, Thoss, Stuart and Hoy.

As a student Michael achieved the RAD Solo Seal and was awarded the SODA scholarship before beginning his career in 1998 to work with the Queensland Ballet as a soloist and moving on to The Royal New Zealand Ballet as a principal dancer in 2005, where he remained until 2010.

Since then he has worked with the Australian Ballet Company, Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop and has appeared in several galas and performed as a guest artist and principal dancer with the West Australian Ballet, South African Ballet Theatre, Victorian State Ballet and others.

Expanding his knowledge and experience further, Michael has taught at several of Australia and New Zealand’s most prestigious ballet schools, given input into enhancing dance modules for colleges, co-choreographed

A Midsummer Nights Dream and given many workshops on ballet, contemporary and stagecraft around the country.

Sergey Kheylik

Former Principal Artist, Vienna State Opera & Los Angeles Ballet

Sergey Kheylik is originally from Voronezh, Russia. At the age of 10, he began his ballet training in Voronezh. At 12, he went to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and received a scholarship from the Rudolph Nureyev Foundation to study at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School.

In 2000, he won the Hope Prize at Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland and later studied under the legendary teacher Peter Pestov at the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. During his studies in Germany, he performed in several productions with Stuttgart Ballet, and won 1st prize at the 2001 Vienna International Ballet Competition, and the gold medal at the prestigious Varna International Ballet Competition in 2002.

His professional career started shortly thereafter when he guested with Universal Ballet in Korea. In 2003, he joined Vienna State Opera Ballet as a full time company member, and was invited to dance in America with Carolina Ballet the following year. Within the past 15 years he has been a principal dancer and guest artist with companies like Los Angeles Ballet, Cirque Du Soleil, South African Ballet Theatre, Hong Kong Ballet, Whim W’him. From 2010 to 2012 he was a star of Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys Of Dance’ ( Rock The Ballet ) World Tour. Bad Boys Of Dance were featured in Sting’s Rainforest Foundation Gala at the Carnegie Hall in New York City, performing with Sir Elton John, Lady GaGa, Sting and Bruce Springsteen.

In 2014 Sergey assisted to choreograph a huge production called “Karagoz” at the Astana Opera in Kazakhstan.Sergey also teaches Contemporary and Ballet Master Classes internationally. He taught for Youth America Grand Prix in New York, Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong and Abby Lee Dance Company in Los Angeles. He is currently performing as guest artist and choreographs various productions and events all over the world, and works with prestigious and talented people in the Dance industry.

Awards

  • Hope Prize – Prix De Lausanne, Switzerland 2000
  • 1st Prize Vienna Int. Ballet Competition, Austria 2001
  • Gold Medal (Junior Division) Varna, Bulgaria 2002