Creative Commons Licence
Two of the highlights of the year were listening to and actually meeting Li Cunxin, the artistic director of the Queensland Ballet at the London Ballet Circle on the 3 Aug 2015 (see Li Cunxin at the London Ballet Circle 5 Aug 2015) and then watching his company dance La Sylphide at the Coliseum the following Saturday (see A dream realized: the Queensland Ballet in London 12 Aug 2015). There are three reasons for that which I explained in Queensland Ballet's La Sylphide - Why it is so special 22 July 2015.
Because the Queensland Ballet is special I was delighted to learn of the A$1.2 million (£568,611.48 or US$ 862,680.00) funding increase that the company has been promised by the Queensland government and a A$5 million (£2.37 million or US$3.59 million) grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.
In a media statement dated 10 Dec 2015 Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, the Premier of Queensland, who is also Minister for the Arts in the state government said:
“My Government is investing an additional $1.2m annually from 2016 for Queensland Ballet to cement its profile in the Asia Pacific region, expand its home base and company of dancers and offer more performances, more collaborations, more international touring and exchanges."
“Importantly the company will add eight additional dancers by 2020, allowing Queensland Ballet to align with other world-class companies of its size."
“This will give the company more choice in selecting its repertoire and give Queenslanders more opportunities to enjoy high quality ballet.”The Premier also announced a 50 year extension of the company's lease to the Thomas Dixon Centre where the company is housed. The gift from the foundation will be used to re-design the company's space in the Centre.
Replying to the Premier and Lady Potter who represented the Foundation, Li Cunxin said:
“We have a bold vision for Queensland Ballet to truly connect meaningfully with our audiences and communities in Queensland, Australia, the Asia Pacific and beyond.”The popular support that the company enjoys was evidenced by the number of Australians who had come to London to support their dancers. They doubled the numbers who normally attend a meeting of the London Ballet Circle and they occupied a whole block of seats in the stalls. It was good to see them and I hope they enjoyed their stay in our country. I also hope it will not be long before we see the Queensland Ballet again in England.