We just got a new dancer! Christopher Rodgers-Wilson is originally from Australia, but studied at the Royal Ballet School and has spent the last four years with Birmingham Royal Ballet. He joins us as a member of the corps de ballet.
What was your path to the Royal Ballet School?
I started dancing at age six but ended up stopping for a couple of years when I was 13 to have more time for school sport, music etc. I started to miss it though and ended up starting again after watching a performance by The Australian Ballet of Swan Lake. While I was completing year eleven at school theteachers at my local ballet school suggested sending a video to Gailene Stock at The Royal Ballet School. I didn’t know much about the school but when she offered me a place I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss, and after a subsequent visit to the school I started in September 2005, completing my VCE by correspondence.
What was your favourite part of living in England?
Training in London and working closely with the two Royal Ballet companies was very exciting and inspiring, as was getting to see many other companies from abroad perform. It really opened my eyes to the ballet world. I also loved being able to experience the fantastic arts, history and culture both England and Europe has to offer. Touring with Birmingham Royal Ballet was lots of fun, dancing in the great classics and getting to know many places in England. I also loved walking in the Welsh mountains with friends on free weekends!
What made you decide to come back home at this time?
After four years with BRB I felt it was time for a change, and coming home seemed a natural path as The Australian Ballet has always been somewhere I’ve had in mind, as it was a huge inspiration when I was growing up in Melbourne. I was also aware of the company’s 50th anniversary and thought it would be fantastic to be a part of!
You’ve been in rehearsals for Graeme Murphy’s Romeo & Juliet – what is he like to work with?
It’s been great working with Graeme. He has a clear vision of what he wants and the choreography flows quickly, he also has a great sense of humour and creates a very friendly and encouraging work atmosphere.
What excites you most about joining The Australian Ballet?
It feels lovely to now be part of the company that I watched so often growing up and it will be great to be part of the company’s upcoming anniversary. I love the fusion of classical and more modern repertoire here, as I think this balance is enriching and creates more versatile artists.
What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday off?
Sleep! but hopefully not the whole day so I’ve got time for a nice long lunch with friends or family, and maybe a movie or taking my dog Indy for a walk.