23-year-old Amelia Drummond has been named the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Female Classical Choreographer Initiative. A partnership between The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House and Dance Australia Magazine, the initiative will see Drummond take up an artistic residency at the Opera House and create a work for TAB’s Bodytorque program in October. The announcement was made on the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre following TAB’s triple-bill performance of Verve on Tuesday.

Amelia Drummond. Photo supplied

Drummond, from Canberra, received dance training from the age of nine. She graduated with a Diploma in Dance from Melbourne’s The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet before moving to Germany at 16 to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, where she began to develop her choreographic skills. Drummond currently dances with the Badisches Staatsballett Karlsruhe.

Drummond was chosen from over 40 entries by a panel of judges that included TAB’s artistic associate and principal coach, Fiona Tonkin; the head of Contemporary Performance at SOH, Olivia Ansell; former Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company, Natalie Weir (a former resident choreographer for TAB); and Dance Australia co-editor Karen van Ulzen and critics Margaret Mercer (WA), Geraldine Higginson (NSW) and Susan Bendall (VIC).

“We were all delighted by the diligence and care of the applications and the high quality of the choreography,” Karen van Ulzen said. “It has been a pleasure to review such a talented field of creative women and it has been very difficult making a choice. We regret that we were not able to accept them all!”

“This initiative is a much-needed opportunity for female choreographers working in the classical genre to have their work platformed, to work with the incredible dancers of The Australian Ballet, and to have their profile lifted, which may lead to further commissions,” Natalie Weir added. “Opportunities to choreograph for ballet companies are very rare; I hope this is an initiative that continues into the future.”

“I congratulate all the applicants for the promise they showed,” Fiona Tonkin said, “but especially Amelia Drummond on her selection to choreograph a short work for The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque program. “This is a wonderful initiative, thanks to the support of its various partners, and I am confident it will be a success.”