12 March 2010
West Australian Ballet edges closer towards a new permanent home and world-class training facility.
FOLLOWING a special council meeting on 8 March, the City of Bayswater has made a historic decision to support the establishment of a State Ballet Centre in the former Senses building in Maylands, to create a vibrant, new permanent home for West Australian Ballet.
The centre will be a world-class rehearsal and training facility for the Company and eventually home to an elite ballet training school, eliminating the need for young dancers to travel to The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne or the New Zealand School of Dance for high-level classical ballet training opportunities.
West Australian Ballet intends to work closely with local ballet schools and the WA Academy of Performing Arts to ensure there is a well-structured professional pathway for talented young ballet dancers in the State.
The former Senses building is currently owned by West Australian developer Finbar Group. Finbar introduced the property to West Australian Ballet in 2008 and has since undertaken a scheme amendment process to enable the heritage property to be used for office and cultural purposes.
Bayswater Mayor Terry Kenyon said the City was supportive of a State Ballet Centre in Maylands because it would tie in with the rejuvenation of the area under the Maylands Urban Design Framework and soon-to-be-built Maylands Multipurpose Centre.
“The arts are an asset that should be nurtured and encouraged to grow naturally, helped by council’s strong facilitation role, that helps to support and develop creative expression,” he said. “By embracing this philosophy we have attracted many artistic and creative people to our city over the years, which is why council supports arts and cultural endeavours, such as ballet.
“After initial discussions in 2009, the City will now be lodging grant applications to fund the project, preparing a business plan for the purchase of the Senses Building and starting the necessary negotiations. “I’m pleased the City of Bayswater has committed to such a project, which will become a true world-class facility, and a thriving hub that will attract aspiring ballet dancers from near and afar.” Mayor Kenyon said further details involving specifics of the project were not available because it was a confidential item at the special council meeting.
John Langoulant, Deputy Chair West Australian Ballet said “We trust that through our partnership with the City of Bayswater, the State Government, the corporate sector and private donors, we will achieve a cultural destination of historical significance; a dynamic centre of creativity and excellence for Western Australia. West Australian Ballet has embarked on a major fund raising campaign to enable the building to be refurbished in a way that complements the Company’s goals. It looks forward to the support of its partners including the State Government in that campaign and we feel confident that a positive outcome will be achieved”
West Australian Ballet General Manager says “after three years of exhaustive searching for a proper home for the Company, the wait is finally over thanks to this visionary decision by the City of Bayswater. Although a massive undertaking for West Australian Ballet, the largest investment in the Company’s history, it is certainly a time for great celebration and acknowledgement that the arts in Western Australia can stand up to the best the world has to offer. We see this is an important development not only for dance, but for the whole community. Our programs and training have been constrained by space issues for many years, so this facility will certainly make all the difference to the delivery of ballet performance and training in this State and something that all Western Australians will be proud.”
West Australian Ballet Artistic Director says “we have a very special Company of elite dancers here in Western Australia that have had to endure substandard facilities for decades. Finally they will be able to grande jeté without hitting the wall! The space will enable the ballet masters to train the boys and girls separately, which is standard for every company in the world but which has not been possible with just one studio, and also for larger ballets to be rehearsed without compromise. Ballet is all about movement through space – without space, that becomes a very difficult proposition. This is very exciting for my dancers and Western Australian ballet community.”
Finbar CEO Darren Pateman says “Finbar is very happy that this iconic heritage building can be returned to the community and restored as an important training facility for the State’s much loved West Australian Ballet. Finbar is committed to supporting the arts and creative communities, as we see it as important for the welfare of Western Australia."
For further information please contact:
Rosita Stangl, PublicistWest Australian Ballet
Ph: 9367 8884 orEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chris ThomasPublic Relations OfficerCity of Bayswater61 Broun AvenueMorley WA 6062Tel: (08) 9272 0923 Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.bayswater.wa.gov.au