The Australian Ballet promotes two dancers
Following stand-out performances in The Nutcracker, Sylvia and Giselle this year, Dimity Azoury and Benedicte Bemet have been promoted to principal artists of The Australian Ballet. The two dancers were promoted on the same evening following their performances in Stanton Welch’s Sylvia, securing a well-deserved spot in The Australian Ballet’s highest rank.
Artistic Director David McAllister made the surprise announcement on stage, following the performance at Sydney Opera House last night. Dimity’s parents and husband were in the audience for the special announcement while Benedicte’s parents and partner were waiting in the wings.
“Since joining the company in 2008 Dimity has been a dancer that choreographers have loved to create on. Her performances are always filled with passion, as we saw in her fiery and complex Baroness in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake but equally in her haunting and delicate Giselle in Maina Gielgud’s production. I know these qualities will continue to fuel her work as she joins the principal rank,” said McAllister.
Dimity began dancing at the age of four in her home town of Queanbeyan, New South Wales. She studied at the Kim Harvey School of Dance in Canberra for 11 years before moving to The Australian Ballet School in 2005. Dimity joined The Australian Ballet in 2008 and has worked with acclaimed choreographers throughout her career, including Nicolo Fonte, Graeme Murphy, Tim Harbour, Stephen Page and Stephen Baynes. Dimity was promoted to soloist in 2015 following her debut as Baroness von Rothbart in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, and to senior artist in 2017.
Mackay-born Benedicte started ballet at the age of three, eventually moving to the Gold Coast where she trained at the Ransley Ballet Centre. When she was 10 her family relocated to Hong Kong where she continued her ballet training at the Jean M. Wong School of Ballet; she was subsequently accepted into The Australian Ballet School at age 14. In 2012, Benedicte joined The Australian Ballet’s corps de ballet and one year later was promoted to coryphée. In 2016 she was promoted to soloist and became a senior artist in 2018.
“Benedicte has always had a natural quality and a joyful radiance on stage, and she has danced a number of principal roles with great distinction,” said McAllister. “After an injury a couple of years ago her personal growth has added even greater depth to her innate ability and has been evident in her recent performances of the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Flavia in Lucas Jervies’ Spartacus and the title role in Stanton Welch’s Sylvia.
“Dimity and Benedicte started their ballet journeys in regional Australian towns, which showcases the breadth of talent we have in our country. They have been nurtured and supported by many people along the way to be where they are now. I am sure their stories will be aspirational for young budding dancers across the county,” said McAllister.
Dimity and Benedicte are performing in the current season of Sylvia at Sydney Opera House and will take on lead roles in the upcoming season of The Nutcracker.
Tickets and casting details are available through australianballet.com.au
Image courtesy of The Australian Ballet