Coryphée Brett Chynoweth. Photo James Braund
Dancers are often called the 'athletes of the arts' and like athletes they undergo years of hard physical training in pursuit of excellence.
It is exhilarating watching human beings perform extraordinary and courageous physical feats. In dance, this energy is used to tell stories and convey ideas, creating very powerful experiences that can be dramatic, moving and even funny.
The Australian Ballet is a full-time ensemble employing around 70 dancers whose talents are showcased in both classical and contemporary repertoire.
Corps de Ballet
Most dancers begin their professional career as a member of the corps de ballet, which is French for 'the body' of the company. These dancers do all of the large group work in the full-length repertoire and help support the narrative of story ballets.
Senior Artist Juliet Burnett. Photo Christopher Tovo
This is the first step up the ladder where dancers who are exceptional performers in the corps de ballet are recognised. Coryphées still perform in ensemble dances, but usually in more featured roles or at the front of the group. They may also be chosen to perform solos.
Considered some of the hardest working dancers in the company, soloists perform featured solo roles but still do lots of group work in larger ballets. Many soloists are favoured by choreographers when new works are created, and they are often chosen to understudy principal roles.
This is the last step before principal. Senior artists are specialised artists who have danced many featured roles and are outstanding in their work. Senior Artists dance leading soloist parts, as well as some principal roles.
This is the highest rank in the company. Principal artists possess exceptional artistry and talent, raising them above their peers, and they dance most of the leading roles in the performances we present. Only a few dancers will reach the rank of principal, but it is the dream of any company dancer.
Meet The Australian Ballet's dancers