Season 2024 has been revealed. Explore the season.
Introducing our new soloists
Meet The Australian Ballet Soloists Mia Heathcote and Victor Estévez.
31 Jan 2024
The Australian Ballet School alumni Mia Heathcote has returned to Melbourne after working with Queensland Ballet.
How does it feel to be back in Melbourne?
It feels like returning to an old life with a new perspective. It’s a little nostalgic and somehow foreign at the same time.
Your dad, Steven Heathcote is one of The Australian Ballet’s artistic staff, will it be weird working alongside him, or are you used to it?
I think my dad and I have the ability to separate work and personal life quite well, I treat him with the same respect I would any other staff member or colleague. I have worked with him in the past and I welcome the feedback he has to contribute as I value his expertise and I know it always comes from a place of genuine care for the artist.
The only thing I may cringe at would be when he cracks a classic ‘dad joke’ in class or rehearsal, it just hits differently for me, obviously!
What will you miss most about Queensland?
The people I've connected with! My beautiful friends and the memories and art we’ve created together, whether it be on the stage, studio, in my apartment or out in nature.
What are you looking forward to most about the season?
You’ve performed many lead roles in ballet, is there a bucket list role you haven’t performed yet?
I’ve been so fortunate to perform some of my dream roles throughout my career, which is still hard to believe! It’s difficult to choose just one, however Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin is a role I haven’t had the opportunity to perform and would love to. There are more roles I’d like to take on, anything with dramatic storytelling elements are the ones that excite and challenge me to go deeper both emotionally and artistically. I love that about this art form!
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?
I’d still be me… but in terms of profession, I don’t yet have a clear idea, (which is scary because I’ll have to figure it out one day!) although it may be in the area of either art/design or perhaps a counsellor/psychotherapist of some sort.
Originally from Cuba, Victor joins The Australian Ballet after eight years with Queensland Ballet, where he performed leading roles in both classical and contemporary repertoire.
Welcome Victor! We are so excited to have you at The Australian Ballet. How have you been settling into Melbourne life?
It has only been a couple of weeks since I moved to Melbourne, so everything still feels very new. However, I have been able to explore a little bit of Melbourne and its different suburbs and enjoying some good pastries.
You’ve spent the last eight years with the Queensland Ballet, what have been some of your favourite roles/moments while working there?
I have collected so many great memories during my time working with Queensland Ballet professionally, artistically and on a personal level. Looking back at the past eight years, what I am most grateful for is the people I have meet and worked with, the friendships I have developed as well as being able to fulfil many artistic dreams. There is one memory that stands out of the many great experiences I’ve had, and that is performing the role of Des Grieux in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon alongside Alina Cojocaru as Manon.
You’re originally from Cuba, it must have been difficult to move so far away to pursue ballet?
Yes, moving all the way from Cuba to pursue my ballet career was very difficult in the first few years. I remember very vividly when I arrived in Australia not being able to speak English at all which was confronting for a while as you can probably imagine. At times I felt like I didn’t belong and became overwhelmed by it all. On top of that I was exposed to a new culture and different social systems as well as new people in my new circle of life. It took me probably around three years to feel a sense of normality and from that moment everything changed.
I have fallen in love with this country. I pay great respect to the elders of this land, past, present and emerging as I now call Australia my home.
Have you noticed any differences in style or approach in Australian dancing?
Yes, there are differences in the way I trained in Cuba to how I currently dance now here in Australia. In my experience what I have loved the most about working with Australian artists is how they come together as a team and tell a story.
What are some of things you’re looking forward to at The Australian Ballet?
Being a part of The Australian Ballet has always been a dream of mine and to finally being able to live it makes me very excited about this new chapter in my career. There are many things I look forward to at The Australian Ballet. To mention some, I look forward to working closely with David Hallberg and learning from him. Artistically, I am very excited to explore the diverse repertoire the company is presenting, as well as being exposed to new artistic experiences. I very much look forward to performing in the Sydney Opera House as this has been another dream of mine.
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?
I don’t think I have a direct answer to that, but I love spending time around nature and growing plants.
Who has the best coffee, Cuba or Melbourne?
As far as coffee goes, I can confirm that Melbourne definitely wins with the best coffee.
The Australian Ballet is thrilled to be welcoming these incredible artists to our company and we look forward to seeing them bring their artistry and passion for ballet to the stage.