Telstra and The Australian Ballet are delighted to reveal the five talented dancers selected as nominees for the 2023 Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. The announcement comes as the partners celebrate the 20th anniversary of these prestigious awards, and toast to one of the longest running arts partnerships in Australia of 39 years.
The five dancers nominated for the 2023 Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards include Adam Elmes (corps de ballet dancer), Isobelle Dashwood (soloist), Lilla Harvey (corps de ballet dancer), Riley Lapham (coryphée) and Katherine Sonnekus (coryphée).
The nominees were selected by The Australian Ballet’s artistic team, the company’s principal artists and past Telstra Ballet Dancer Award winners. A nomination is a huge honour for these dancers, as it recognises their hard work and potential as determined by their peers.
Winners of the awards will be announced at Sydney Opera House on 20 May, following The Australian Ballet’s closing performance of George Balanchine’s Jewels. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from The Australian Ballet and Telstra and the general public.
The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards incorporates two separate awards: The Telstra Rising Star Award, which includes a $25,000 prize for the winner; and The Telstra People’s Choice Award, which includes a $15,000 prize for the winner.
The partnership between Telstra and The Australian Ballet has helped identify and recognise the future stars of ballet for the past two decades. The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are one of the longest running arts awards in the country and help dancers build their confidence in their skills and abilities as they work to ascend the ballet ranks to the most senior dancing positions in Australia’s national dance company. It is testament to the awards with as many as 11 former winners having gone on to become Principal Artists of The Australian Ballet.
Genelle Sharples, Principal, Media, Sponsorships and Awards for Telstra, said, “We are delighted to celebrate 20 years of supporting The Australian Ballet through the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. The awards were introduced in 2003, to support the growth and careers of the ballet’s rising stars. They have done just that and much more. With as many winners going on to senior roles, the awards have had an undeniable impact on spotlighting young talent. Telstra is proud to continue to nurture these extraordinary artists and celebrate the athleticism, sacrifice and commitment these artists have shown as they strive for excellence in their artform.”
David Hallberg, artistic director of The Australian Ballet, said, “In partnership with Telstra, we congratulate our five extraordinary nominees for the 2023 Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. These dancers are a true representation of the excellence and commitment we strive for in our artform and are all deserving of acknowledgement for their immense dedication to their craft. We are honoured to have received the support of Telstra for these awards over the last 20 years and the part they have played in highlighting and rewarding the talent this company has produced over the decades.”
The nominees in the 2023 Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are featured in a series of videos, which encourage the public to vote for their favourite dancer and celebrate the joy of dance with all Australians. To vote in TBDA People’s Choice Awards, visit www.telstra.com/ballet or via 0484 BALLET.