John Curtin College of the Arts graduate and previous West Australian Ballet dancer Louise Chalwell returns to her dancing roots as a mentor for current students in the college’s latest full length ballet, Cinderella.

Louise has choreographed and is directing John Curtin College of the Arts ballet students in the family friendly production of the classic rags to riches tale this December.

She is one of four past graduates returning to share her expertise with dancers in John Curtin College of the Arts’ Project Company, a performance company that presents full length ballet productions under the guidance of professional artists.

Louise acknowledged that John Curtin graduates who were furthering their studies at a university or even a young artist with another ballet company could gain invaluable experience by also performing in John Curtin’s ballet productions.

“The most fulfilling part of returning to John Curtin is teaching students from when they first begin the program to when they graduate and then seeing them return as professional dancers and hoping in some small way you gave them something that helped them succeed,” she said.

Louise is working with fellow John Curtin alumni; independent choreographer Brooke Leeder who is providing artistic direction and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) students Sophia Natale and Tobias Wolinski, who are returning to dance as Cinderella and the Prince.

“Ultimately I would love to see all former and current students performing alongside each other and gaining the professional experience required to further their careers in any way possible,” said Louise.

Current student, 16 –year-old Brent Carson, only started doing ballet in Year 8 but discovered he really enjoyed it and fell in love with the art.

“I love being part of a ballet company in a school setting,” he said.

“Having our past graduates return is fantastic as they have so much knowledge to share and their years of experience inspire me and push me to work harder.”

Brent will continue his craft at WAAPA next year.

According to Louise, sharing the love and traditions of classical ballet with young people invigorates the art form ensuring a future legacy.

“It is so exciting to watch the former students and graduates develop as they grow as young artists and return to mentor the next group of students.”

“John Curtin has been such a wonderful support throughout my entire career as a dancer. It feels great to be able to give something back to the current students and teachers,” Louise said.

Performances are at 7.00pm on 2 and 3 December at the Curtin Theatre, Fremantle. A special matinee performance on Saturday 3 December includes a dress up competition, meeting the dancers, dancing on stage and a backstage tour for children under 10. Book tickets here



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