The Australian Ballet School

Melbourne, Australia

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The Australian Ballet School, the school of The Australian Ballet, is the national centre for excellence in classical dance training in Australia.

The Australian Ballet School was established after The Australian Ballet gave its first performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney in 1962. Dame Margaret Scott AC, DBE was appointed as the School’s Founding Director in 1964. Since her retirement the School has seen only two subsequent Directors, Gailene Stock AM (1990-1998), and Marilyn Rowe OBE (1999-current).

Working in close liaison in the purpose-built facilities of The Australian Ballet Centre located in Melbourne’s vibrant arts precinct, the School and Company continue to share the same long term goal: a truly unique Australian Ballet with a distinctive style of its own.

The influence of the School permeates many dance related areas. For instance, choreographic talent has been nurtured over the years with graduates such as Graeme Murphy AO, Meryl Tankard, Stephen Baynes, Gideon Obarzanek, Leigh Warren, Adrian Burnett and Lucas Jervies all having distinguished international reputations.

In 2009, The Australian Ballet School proudly celebrated 45 years of excellence in creating the future of dance, and is now looking towards 50 years in 2014!

Marilyn Rowe, OBE, Artistic Director

Marilyn Rowe was one of the first students accepted into The Australian Ballet School’s initial two-year course; the first Prima Ballerina produced by the School and the first graduate to become its Director.

While still a soloist, Rowe received her first invitation to Russia from Igor Moiseyev, who choreographed The Last Vision for herself and renowned partner, Kelvin Coe. In 1969, Rowe was promoted to principal artist.

In 1973, Coe and Rowe won individual Silver Medals and the Publishers’ Prize for the most outstanding couple at the Second International Ballet Competition in Moscow. They were also the first Australians to be invited to dance with the Bolshoi, Riga and Vilnius ballet companies. Rowe had many leading roles created on her by choreographers working with The Australian Ballet.

Marilyn Rowe was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1980 for services to ballet in Australia. In 1981 Rowe was appointed Ballet Director and Acting Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet. The following year she became Deputy Artistic Director and directed The Australian Ballet’s Dancers Company from 1984 to 1990.

Since 1999, Rowe has held the position of Director of The Australian Ballet School. The same year she was appointed a member of the jury for the Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition. She has also sat on juries for the Prix de Lausanne, the Youth America Grand Prix, and the Beijing International Ballet Competition.



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