Artist Photo Diaries: What’s New ‘22?

Posted on 03 February 2022 By Behind Ballet Editorial Team

Refreshed and raring to go for a new year, a selection of The Australian Ballet’s artists share 22 new personal discoveries, triumphs and reflections from their recent summer break. Framed through an intimate, multi-sensory lens, these insights capture ‘A Bold New Era’ that is Season 2022, offering glimpses of the vibrancy and charisma that will define this year both on and off stage.

TY KING-WALL

A new way to ignite your creativity... Not exactly a new way, but a new place! Something which always helps me clear my mind and find lucidity is escaping the city and immersing myself in nature. Especially in recent times, with such limitations placed on travel, I've felt that compulsion more than ever. Before Christmas, Amber, our daughter Bonnie and I spent some time down at Wilson's Promontory, which we'd never visited before. It might just be my new favourite part of Australia! We can't wait to get back there again.

A new song you have on repeat... All It Takes by Karnivool. The kings of Australian prog-rock released their first new music since 2013 late last year with this single, and it was worth the wait, absolutely kicks!

Wilson's Promontory captured by Ty King-Wall, Principal Artist.

ROHAN FURNELL

A new piece of clothing or accessory you can’t live without…The hunt for a new pair of shorts began late last year as temperatures started to rise and outdoor activities filled my events calendar. For the longest time I almost never wore shorts outside of the ballet studio, but this year I was keen for a cute pair fit for the summer. Also, on a mission to incorporate more colour into my wardrobe, these green shorts from Saturdays NYC are very much an indispensable addition to my outfits for the new year.

A new way to end the day… Last year my boyfriend introduced me to the rain sounds he uses to fall asleep. While I didn’t really buy into it at first, I found that starting back this year with a few uncomfortably hot nights required some extra help falling and staying asleep. This new bedtime addition helpful in quieting my mind and prompting a more meditative state.

Coryphée Rohan Furnell in his must-have summer fit.

VALERIE TERESCHENKO

A new way to add some colour to your day… My partner is a landscaper and gardener and just before Christmas he revived my balcony with some pops of colour in the form of Kangaroo Paws, Grevillea's, Eucalypt, Atroemeria and Bougainvillea. They're all pink! I’m not sure why he went with that colour palette, but it complements the summer sunsets beautifully. I highly recommend seeking colour from the environment; it's strikingly aesthetic and nourishing for the spirit. 

A new artwork or artist you have discovered… I guess you could say I 'rediscovered' the incredible former dancers of The Australian Ballet and some dancers I hadn't seen perform before in Project Animo's debut season, And Now We Move On. It was a joy to see that dance stays in your body forever, it is only that the way you move becomes more unique and idiosyncratic with time, and I think, more beautiful. 

Vibrant summer balcony views captured by Senior Artist Valerie Tereschenko.

JETT RAMSAY

A new way to move beyond your comfort zone… A divide and conquer attitude is an old, but optimal way that can still be used to find a solution for dancing past your comfort zone.  It is a new productive solution that has allowed me to get the job or problem done easier, leading to less stress and more confidence, and to ultimately succeed at moving beyond your comfort zone. 

A new way to make a difference in someone’s day… Do the unexpected, catch them by surprise. When our guard is down, we can find a deeper, more real connection with people.  

Corps de ballet artist Jett Ramsay conquers his comfort zone in the studio, and beyond.

AMY HARRIS

A new reason to celebrate...Two weeks of beautiful performances in Sydney last year rounded out what was yet another really tough year in The Australian Ballet. This was definitely a reason to celebrate, and why should the celebration end there? Yes, while we may have shared disappointment with the cancellation of our Summertime season there is still so much to look forward to and celebrate with our audiences, supporters and patrons. It's a year jam packed full of works. We are all eager, energised and ready to go!

A new recipe you’ve tried…I'm an amateur baker, but an eager one at that. While I won't be opening my own store anytime soon, I do have one cake course under my belt. Every year I have said I wanted to bake my own mince pies at Christmas. I know these are an acquired taste and many people probably just turn up their noses, but for me... drool! So, last year was the year I baked my own. While they are a little rustic (my pastry has some work to do) they tasted amazing and didn't last long in our house.

Principal Artist Amy Harris always finds a reason to celebrate.

MARCUS MORELLI

A new hobby you are exploring…As an avid gamer and streamer, it’s been fun to lean into that world even further by teaching myself and using online tutorials to learn video editing and content creation! It’s a slow process and there’s a lot to learn but it’s been a blast throwing myself into the deep end and learning new skills in my spare time.

A new way of engaging with environment...After spending so much time in lockdowns, the ‘novelty’ of spending time with friends in public and outside is still strong.  It’s also the simple human connections that mean the most to me. We’re all going through the ringer, we feel it, we acknowledge it in ourselves and in others, so simply sharing some positivity with those around you and spending time outdoors to connect with nature feels new and invigorating!

Senior Artist Marcus Morelli develops his gaming and streaming skills in his spare time.

GRACE CARROLL

A new scent or smell you have discovered… I have been wearing a lot over summer is an Aesop fragrance– Rōzu. It has the purity of a classic rose scent with the vibrant addition of spicy, woody and green notes. My favourite thing about it is that emulates the lifespan of a rose; from the soil in which its planted, to its bloom and finally it's fine, withering petals. 

A new band you have discovered… Over summer I listened to a lot of Mazzy Star, one of my favourite bands, and recently discovered another band formed by lead singer from Mazzy Star– Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. I've been working my way through their discography and love their style.

Corps de ballet artist Grace Carroll is enlivened by the scent rose. Image source: Unsplash

MASON LOVEGROVE

A new way to start the day…We welcomed our baby cocker spaniel Rupert over the summer, so my morning routine has changed quite a bit! He is such a sweetheart and loves watching ballet exercises, his favourite would have to be 'toe push-ups', although sometimes he thinks my toes are a chew toy! 

A new side of yourself you have tuned into…I have been working with, and choreographing for Tomas Parrish - a composer undertaking a research Masters of Music (Composition) developing a new collaborative approach, which I have been facilitating with them. Their work is really exciting for our industry and I'm so excited to see where their research will lead us. 

Coryphée Mason Lovegrove starts his day with a new buddy in tow.

BENEDICTE BEMET

A new book you have read…The thing around your neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, she has quickly become my favourite author. Her stories are rich, exploring feminist thoughts and how Middle-Eastern and Western values co-exist today. 

A new way of measuring success… For me, is by checking in and seeing how calm and content I feel at the end of the day. It's easy to get caught up in the stresses of performing and rehearsing all day, so this year I'm trying to place more value on being present, calm and accepting what will be will be. 

Principal Artist Benedicte Bemet on her summer reads and new favourite author.

BRODIE JAMES

A new goal for the year… To start travelling again now that borders have slowly started to reopen. My partner I recently took a road trip in regional New South Wales and booked a tiny home through the company Unyoked. It felt incredible to go somewhere that wasn't the four walls of my apartment. Hopefully, international borders will fully open back up again soon as we want to travel to Vietnam next!

A new reason to get dressed up… To attend arts events such as live music, musical theatre, ballet and dance performances that have slowly started to return. I recently saw SIX the Musical and it had me smiling from ear to ear for the entire performance. The next show I've booked to see is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Soloist Brodie James rediscovers travel in regional New South Wales.

JACQUELINE CLARK

A new landscape or destination you visited...Although this place isn’t new in my life it’s somewhere I revisited after many years of having not been there! It’s at the top of the Lighthouse Walk at Palm Beach where the view spreads wide over the beautiful beaches of the northern beaches, where I was lucky enough to grow up. It’s been a number of years since I did the trek and it’s worth it every time. Incredibly peaceful and magical! 

A new taste or flavour combination you discovered…An upgrade I have added to my usual Sunday breakfast of scrambled eggs is the addition of truffle oil! I picked up a bottle from South Melbourne market and it has taken my brekkies to the next level! 

Breathtaking Palm Beach where Soloist Jacqueline Clark was born.