The Australian Ballet School announces Megan Connelly as new Artistic Director

Megan Connelly. Photo by Pierre Toussaint.
Megan Connelly. Photo by Pierre Toussaint.

Megan Connelly will be the fifth director in The Australian Ballet School’s 60-year history, building upon the legacy of outgoing director Lisa Pavane and esteemed predecessors, Marilyn Rowe AM OBE, Gailene Stock CBE AM and founding director Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE.

The Artistic Director and Head of School is a strategic and creative leadership role responsible for artistic and educational excellence and student wellbeing. This key role requires deep experience within the art form, an understanding of ballet trends, strong national and international networks, and expertise in elite ballet instruction and performance.

Connelly is an internationally recognised expert in vocational training and education, dancer rehabilitation and classical ballet pedagogy, with more than 30 years’ experience in Australia and abroad.

The Chair of the Board Sarah Matheson AM said, “This significant appointment was made following a global search that attracted outstanding candidates from Australia and abroad. The depth and breadth of Megan’s industry knowledge will be an incredible asset to the School. She has a remarkable record of artistic leadership, a passionate commitment to vocational training at the highest level, and a drive to pioneer diversity and best practice. We know that Megan will build upon the ‘School for Life’ philosophy embedded in this iconic institution by Lisa Pavane. With her empathy, drive and leadership skills developed throughout her career, Megan is perfectly positioned to take the School to the next phase in its development.”

The selection committee was comprised of Australian Ballet School Board Directors and sector experts, including ballet luminaries David McAllister AC and Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David Hallberg.

Describing her as “one of the best ballet specialists in this country,” Hallberg said, “Megan’s deep knowledge and unwavering commitment to ballet make her poised to propel The Australian Ballet School into its bright and ambitious future. It is without doubt that with our history together, the relationship between our two institutions will be a partnership backed by a genuine commitment to the future of dance here in Australia. I am thrilled to realise and strengthen even further the pathway between The Australian Ballet and The Australian Ballet School.”

Connelly said, “I am deeply honoured to be appointed Artistic Director and Head of School of The Australian Ballet School. My profound respect and gratitude go to outgoing director Lisa Pavane and the previous directors who have each influenced my journey in their roles as teachers, dancers, mentors and changemakers. It is thrilling to be entrusted with continuing the proud legacy of Australia’s national ballet school, particularly in its 60th anniversary year. I am so excited to begin working with the talented students and staff of the School as we embark on the next 60 years of educating, shaping, sharing, and enriching our artists and artform in Australia.”

The Board of The Australian Ballet School Board is grateful to its specialist cultural search partner, REĂ Consulting, and thanks them for their expert management of the recruitment process.

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