On March 20, the Queensland Ballet celebrates its 60th anniversary with a gala season to celebrate the achievements of its five artistic directors – founder Charles Lisner (1928-1988), Harry Haythorne (1926-2014), Harold Collins (1940-2011), François Klaus, and Li Cunxin, known worldwide as ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ – alongside myriad dancers, teachers, musicians, designers and technicians who have made QB such a valued artistic entity.

Queensland Ballet Charles Lisner and dancers in the rehearsal studio. Photo courtesy of Queensland Ballet

Under Li’s strategic development since 2012-13, QB has grown new wings. It has an impressive multicultural roster of dancers, excellent facilities, a multimillion-dollar new home in progress, and a spectacular new academy. Shows consistently sell out as new repertoire jumps between classical and contemporary. Big hits include Cinderella by Ben Stevenson – Li’s mentor and director at Houston Ballet – and Kenneth MacMillan’s sumptuous Romeo and Juliet. Recently, none was more exciting than A Midsummer Night’s Dreamor Dangerous Liaisonsby Liam Scarlett, Li’s gifted English Artistic Associate. (Due to accusations of improper conduct with Royal Ballet School students, QB has suspended Scarlettand replaced Dangerous Liaisonswith Stevenson’s Swan...

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