20 April 2021 | By Alexia Petsinis

Our Soloist Nathan Brook took out both the Rising Star and the People’s Choice in the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards this year. We talk to this very happy winner.

Congratulations on being awarded the 2020 Telstra Rising Star Award! How did you feel when you were announced as this year’s winner?
Honestly when they called my name I thought they’d made a mistake. My knees went a little weak and I just felt an enormous sense of excitement and gratitude. As the curtain came down I was overwhelmed with emotion and was surrounded by my friends who hugged me while I cried. I’m completely humbled and honoured by this recognition and it has inspired me to reach new heights.  

You also won the Telstra People’s Choice Award. What does it mean to you to receive public recognition like that?
It already feels like a big win to be nominated and recognised by your peers for the Rising Star Award. To also be recognised by our audiences and supporters, along with my friends and family, feels like the cherry on the top. I can’t thank everyone enough for voting for me and supporting my love for this art form. My ambition in this career is to genuinely move people through the power of ballet. To realise this ambition has given me a confidence boost and I can’t wait to share more with our audiences.  

How did you celebrate your wins?
It was straight to work the day after the announcement, we had two shows. I could really feel the magic out there during those two special shows and I’ve been riding the wave ever since. I’ve taken myself clothes shopping and the weekend after, I celebrated with my family and close friends at my niece’s first birthday party. 

Could you describe the experience of being back on stage at the Sydney Opera House for the first time after the COVID-19 lockdowns?
As the curtain rose on opening night of New York Dialects, it was like there was a great sigh of relief. The audience, orchestra, dancers and all the creatives were in harmony once again. It felt like a homecoming. The Australian Ballet had risen from the ashes, stronger, wiser and with a story to tell.  

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
As the year unfolds, I am looking forward to enjoying the experience of performing. I will never take an audience for granted again. We have exciting repertoire that I’ve never done before, which will hopefully challenge me and inspire me to grow as an artist. 

Thank you to the record 237,665 people who voted for their favourite dancers in the People’s Choice Award! And, as always, thank you to our Principal Partner Telstra for their long-lasting and ongoing support of our company and ballet in Australia.