Supporters of the Tait Trust Proudly supporting young Australian performing artists in the UK - Est 1992 Anonymous Donor Australian Business Australian High Commission Richard Bonynge AC CBE The Britain-Australia Society Dance Arches Sir Vernon & Lady Ellis The Linbury Trust Minter Ellison The Royal Ballet School The Royal Over-Seas League Tait Memorial Trust Committee The Thornton Foundation Treasury Wine Estates
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The Tait Memorial Trust
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4/80 Elm Park Gardens, London SW10 9PD
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The Leanne Benjamin Awards
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Thursday June 12th 6.30pm
Awards for young Australian dancers
The Royal Ballet School
Welcome from the Chairman
The Tait Memorial Trust was founded 22 years ago to help young Australian musicians and performing artists who come from Australia to study in London. Eight years ago I was introduced to Gailene Stock by my friend, Anya Sainsbury, at an event in the Linden Studio where we are today. Gailene talked about all the talented Australian ballet dancers who were being awarded places at the school and how there was this tremendous need for them to receive financial help as some of them had come from country towns where their parents had sacrificed everything for their fees. She made the selections and we helped provide some finance. This system worked beautifully for many years. Awardees include Tristan Dyer (The Royal Ballet), Lachlan Monaghan (The Birmingham Royal Ballet), Claudia Dean (The Royal Ballet) and current students Sophie Moffatt and Calvin Richardson. When we heard that Leanne Benjamin was retiring from The Royal Ballet after a 30 year career we wanted to honour her extraordinary achievement in a tangible way. We were delighted when she accepted our invitation to name our new awards for Royal Ballet School students The Leanne Benjamin Awards, which will be on going annual scholarships for young Australian dancers. We are honoured that she has offered to coach a Tait Awardee in one of her favourite classical solos and will be joined by fellow Australian, Mark Annear, Head of Outreach and Access at The Royal Ballet School, who will begin the evening with a masterclass of young Australian dance students who are currently studying here at The Royal Ballet School. I would also particularly like to thank, Anya Sainsbury for taking me to the ballet schools and for her encouragement for The Trust to create these ballet awards. I would like to thank the staff and students of the School especially Sarah Eliot-Cohen, Head of Development and Publicity who has given us tremendous support and guidance for which we are truly grateful. We hope you will stay for the reception after the performance and meet some of the students we have supported. The Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut or the Wolf Blass Pinot Noir Chardonnay Australian wine has been generously provided to us by Treasury Wine Estates. I look forward to raising a toast to our new Awards and to the late Gailene Stock CBE AM whose advice, support and friendship I will miss terribly.
Isla Baring OAM Chairman, Tait Memorial Trust Front Cover: Leanne Benjamin in Requiem, The Royal Ballet © ROHTristram Kenton, 2011 Opposite page: Leanne Benjamin in The Royal Ballet's Manon ©ROH Johan Persson, 2011
The Tait Memorial Trust The Tait Memorial Trust was formed in 1992 by Isla Baring OAM in memory of her father Sir Frank Tait and his four brothers who played such an important part in the establishment of theatre and the performing arts in Australia managing J.C. Williamson’s theatre company. It also recognises with an annual award the major contribution of her mother, Viola, Lady Tait, who died in 2002, as a founding patron and supporter of the Tait MeSir Frank Tait with Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sydney 1957 morial Trust. The Taits produced two Australian tours with Pavlova in the 1920’s and with Edouard Borovansky, formerly of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, J.C. Williamson’s toured with the Borovansky Ballet led by Dame Margot Fonteyn. This company would go on to form the core of the Australian Ballet with the help of Sir Frank Tait, John McCallum AO CBE, Dame Peggy van Praagh and Dr Herbert Coombes, the first Chairman of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. Sir Frank Tait’s last enterprise, the crowning glory of his long career, was the Sutherland/Williamson Opera Company tour of Australia in 1965, which he created with his invaluable partner and friend, John McCallum under the artistic direction of Richard Bonynge AC CBE. The Trust offers awards/grants for post-graduate study, performance opportunities to young Australian musicians and performing artists, and general help in the furtherance of their careers while resident in the UK. Through the Royal Over-Seas League it grants a scholarship to 'the Australian musician showing the most promise' in the Annual Music Competition. The Trust also grants a prize to the winner of Opera Foundation Australia's Covent Garden National Opera Studio Scholarship. The Trust also contributes financially to the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation, Bel Canto Awards and will provide a concert platform in London to the winner. In Richard Bonynge's words:
“Sir Frank Tait has done the greatest service to Australian Theatre and to the arts of anyone we know." The Tait Memorial Trust Chairman Isla Baring OAM Founding Patrons Dame Joan Sutherland AC OM DBE, Viola, Lady Tait AM, John McCallum AO CBE, Googie Withers AO CBE Patrons John Frost AM, Julian Gavin, Patricia Countess of Harewood, Peggy Haim, Barry Humphries AO CBE, Piers Lane AO, June Mendoza AO OBE, Ermes de Zan Trustees Justin Baring, Isla Baring, Shirley Barr, Anne Longden, Susie Thornton Committee Lorraine Buckland, Kelly Dalglish, Jan Gowrie-Smith, Ros Higgins, Kelly Lovelady, Wendy Kramer, Margaret Mayston, Joanna McCallum, Gayle McDermott, Patricia Nimmo, John Rendall, Margaret Rodgers, Ann Seddon, Belinda Syme, Jacqueline Thompson, Rosemary Tuck, Rosemary Wood Executive Director James Hancock
The Royal Ballet School exemplifies excellence in the arts and is widely recognised as one of the world’s greatest centres of classical ballet training Students are admitted purely on talent and potential, irrespective of their financial circumstances Over 70% of The Royal Ballet and of the Birmingham Royal Ballet are alumni of the School For the eighth consecutive year, every graduating student has secured a contract with a top British or international ballet company.
The School trains and educates outstanding classical ballet dancers for The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other top international dance companies, and in doing so sets the standards in dance training, nationally and internationally. Since its founding in 1926, The Royal Ballet School has contributed immeasurably to our nation’s dance heritage and acts as a beacon on the international dance scene. Former students include Margot Fonteyn, Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, Anya Linden, Wayne Sleep, Jonathan Cope and Darcey Bussell and influential choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan, David Bintley, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon. The School offers an eight-year carefully structured dance course, aligned with an extensive academic programme, giving students the best possible education to equip them for a career in the world of dance. Admission is based purely on talent and potential and currently 90% of students rely on financial assistance through means-tested Government grants and generous sponsorship. At White Lodge in Richmond Park there are 126 pupils aged 11-16, and the Upper School in Covent Garden has 90 students aged 16-19. Competition is intense – each year 750 young dancers apply for approximately 50 places at the School. The School has a flourishing outreach programme training 3,500 young dancers in eight centres across the country and also provides free tuition for approximately 2,500 primary and secondary school children in areas where there is little or no access to the arts. Registered Charity No: 214364 www.royalballetschool.org.uk
Coaching by Leanne Benjamin OBE
Reception for guests with students
Masterclass with Australian students of The Royal Ballet School Ballet Teacher: Mark Annear Students: Harry Churches, Josephine Frick, Kiely Groenewegen, Sophie Moffatt, Grace Robinson, Kenji Wilkie Performance The Sleeping Beauty - Jewel Fairy Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky Dancer: Kiely Groenewegen Le Corsaire - Lankendem's solo Choreography: Marius Petipa Music: Adolphe Adam Dancer: Connor Barlow Solitaire - Pas de Deux Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Malcolm Arnold – Solitaire, Op 27 Dancers: Grace Robinson and Harry Churches Coaching with Leanne Benjamin OBE Giselle – Act 1, Variation from Peasant Pas de Six Choreography: Marius Petipa Music: Adolphe Adam Dancer: Sophie Moffatt Pianist:
Leanne Benjamin OBE
Artists Grace Robinson
Leanne Benjamin is a Former Principal with The Royal Ballet. She joined The Royal Ballet School at the age of 16 and graduated into Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (later Birmingham Royal Ballet) in 1983. In 1992 she joined The Royal Ballet as a First Soloist and was promoted to Principal at the end of her first Season. After 20 years as a Principal with The Royal Ballet, Leanne announced her decision to retire at the end of the 2012/13 Season. In 2005 she received an OBE in recognition of her services to dance.
Grace is 18 and from Sydney Australia and started dancing at the age of four completing both Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti examinations and attaining honours in every exam. She performed in Sydney City Youth Ballet’s productions of Nutcracker, Polar Express and Cinderella, in both the corps de ballet and soloist roles.
Leanne was born in Rockhampton in Queensland, Australia, and began dancing aged three. After training locally she followed her older sister to study at The Royal Ballet School, and while at the School won the 1980 Adeline Genée gold medal and the 1981 Prix de Lausanne. At Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet she was promoted to principal in 1987; the following year she joined London Festival Ballet as a principal and in 1990 joined Deutsche Oper Ballet.
Grace was a member of the ITP programme at the Australian Ballet School for five years, and was offered a full-time place at the Australian Ballet School, but chose to go to Europe instead. She attended Tanya Pearson’s annual European school audition tour and was offered a place at all nine of the European ballet schools for which she auditioned. Just before she left, Paul Boyd was commissioned to create a ballet to commemorate 50 years of teaching by Tanya Pearson, and Grace was chosen to portray Tanya’s early life, dancing the lead role in an original and demanding contemporary ballet. Grace joined The Royal Ballet School in September 2012.
Benjamin's wide-spanning repertory included Juliet, Manon, the Firebird and Odette/Odile (Swan Lake), among many others, and creating new roles for choreographers including McGregor, Wheeldon, Marriott and Ratmansky. She is one of the last dancers of The Royal Ballet to have worked with all of its founding choreographers: Ninette de Valois, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. Her final performance at the Royal Opera House was as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling on 15 June 2013, a role she first danced with the Company on 10 November 1992.
Treasury Wine Estates Proud suppliers of quality Australian wine to the Tait Memorial Trust Treasury Wine Estates, Regal House, London Road, Twickenham, Middelsex. TW13QS. UK +44 20 8843 8400 Website: tweglobal.com
Leanne Benjamin in The Royal Ballet’s, The Firebird ©Dee Conway
Mark Annear Kiely Groenewegan
The Royal Ballet School
Kiely is 17 and was born in Melbourne. She started dancing at the age of three and has always aspired to become a professional ballet dancer. Kiely first studied ballet at Westpointe Ballet Academy under Christine Bowman where she passed all her RAD exams with distinction. She continued her training at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) under the direction of Christine Walsh. In 2012, Kiely won the Phoenix Classical Cup in Melbourne and was awarded 2nd prize in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod McDonalds Ballet Scholarships held at The Sydney Opera House. She was chosen to dance Lilac Fairy in ACB’s production of The Sleeping Beauty performing with principal guest artists from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballet. In the same year she was selected as a candidate for the Prix de Lausanne where she was seen by the Director, Gailene Stock, who offered her a full time place at The Royal Ballet School in September 2013. Sophie Moffatt (Tait Memorial Trust Awardee) Sophie is 17 years old and from Sydney. She is the youngest of three sisters. Her sister Nicki graduated from The Royal Ballet School in 2008 and danced with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Sophie started dancing at the age of five and trained with The Conlan College of Classical Ballet in Turramurra, Sydney. During her final year she won first place in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod Classical and the St. George Eisteddfod, Senior Scholarship. Sophie was invited to take part in the 2012 Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland where she was spotted by Gailene Stock who offered her a place at The Royal Ballet Upper School in September 2012.
Save the date: Tuesday 9th December 2014 Tait Winter Prom—Young Australian Performers St John’s Smith Square, London. SW1P 3HA Tait Chamber Orchestra. Cond. Kelly Lovelady Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Sollima, Puccini And a new work by Tait Awardee, Kevin Penkin
Head of Outreach and Access Mark was born in Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Ballet School. He danced with The Australian Ballet for eight years where he performed many soloist and principal roles including the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Mercutio in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and Bim in Maurice Bejart’s Gaieté Parisienne.
In 1985, while continuing his dancing career, he was appointed Assistant to the Ballet Staff of The Australian Ballet which involved administrative and teaching duties. From 1989 - 1991 Mark was Lecturer in Classical Dance at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and from 1992 a senior classical teacher at the Australian Ballet School. At The Australian Ballet School he was responsible for developing and expanding a highly successful community access programme and significantly advancing their highly regarded Teacher Training Programme. Mark has been a guest teacher and choreographer with a number of schools and companies including West Australian Ballet, Meryl Tankard Company, Compagnie Preljocaj, Royal New Zealand Ballet, the Beijing Dance Academy, Canada’s National Ballet School. He has created nearly fifty ballets for The Australian Ballet School, the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Royal New Zealand Ballet, West Australian Ballet and the Dancers Company. Three of Mark’s ballets have been performed by The Royal Ballet School, Tchaikovsky Suite, Mendelssohn Concerto and La Destinée which was created specifically for the School in 2013. Among his impressive academic qualifications, Mark is a Bachelor of Education and Training from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in School Leadership from Melbourne’s Monash University. Mark joined The Royal Ballet School as Head of Outreach and Access in 2011. Since 2008 Dance Arches has provided a scholarship for young Australian dancers studying in the UK. as an award given by the Tait Memorial Trust. The 2013/14 recipient is Sophie Moffatt.
Proudly Australian made and manufactured to ensure the highest quality Australian patented arch enhancer
The Leanne Benjamin Awards
Artists Connor Barlow (Tait Memorial Trust Awardee)
The awards recognise the great Australian artist Leanne Benjamin OBE, arguably the most successful ballerina ever to have come from Australia. Leanne danced with four of the world's leading companies (Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, London Festival Ballet, Deutsche Oper Ballet and The Royal Ballet) and worked directly with many of the legends of 20th and 21st century ballet, in a career that spanned 30 years. She is an example to any aspiring Australian professional dancer. The Tait Memorial Trust is delighted to name their new ballet awards for young Australian dancers, The Leanne Benjamin Awards.
Leanne Benjamin in Requiem, The Royal Ballet © ROHTristram Kenton, 2011
We hope this event will prove to be a step forward for the Tait Memorial Trust and will see it become more involved with the prestigious Royal Ballet School where so many promising young Australian dancers have completed their training. We are thrilled that Leanne Benjamin OBE, an honoured alumna of The Royal Ballet School who recently retired as a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet after a 21 year career with the company has graciously agreed to lend her name and great reputation to these new ballet awards.
Raffle prizes to be won tonight. 1.
Ballet shoes signed by Leanne Benjamin OBE
Two tickets for Hansel and Gretel, 27th July West Green Opera Hartley Witney donated by West Green Opera. www.westgreenhouse.co.uk Two preview tickets for Masterpiece Fair at Royal Hospital Chelsea donated by JGM Art worth £100 each. www.jgmart.co.uk
Dinner for four on board Lady Valletta, Chelsea Harbour
Magnum of Moueix 2005, Bordeaux Supérieure Tickets £5 each or 5 for £20 all proceeds go to the awards fund
Connor Barlow joined English National Ballet School in 2011 supported with funding from the Tait Memorial Trust. Following completion of the three year Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance course, he will graduate this July. Connor began his training in Sydney from the age of seven. In 2007 he continued his classical training at the Australian International Ballet Academy and the Premier State Ballet where, before leaving for London, he performed the role of Basilio in their production of Don Quixote. Whilst at English National Ballet School Connor was chosen to perform the lead role in Kenneth Macmillan’s Soirées Musicales and this July will perform the male lead in Jean Yves Esquerre’s production of Paquita. Following graduation, Connor has been offered a contract with The Béjart Ballet and will join them at the start of their 2014 season. Harry Churches Harry is 17 and from Bondi Beach, Sydney. He did not start ballet until he was twelve, but immediately showed his potential and within eight weeks was offered a position in the Australian Ballet Interstate Training Programme. Harry won an academic scholarship to Reddam House which he attended from 2009 – 2011, leaving in 2012 to begin full-time classical ballet training at Alegria Dance Studios. Harry was awarded distinction in all his RAD examinations to Advanced 2 and was offered scholarships by both the Australian and Houston Ballet Schools, but chose to join The Royal Ballet School in January 2013.
Marlena Devoe, Soprano & Ella Luhtasaari, Piano St James, Piccadilly Monday 30th June at 1.10pm Marlena Devoe was the 2013 recipient of: The Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation, Bel Canto Awards—Richard Bonynge & Tait Prize A concert of belcanto arias
This is a must see event for all Tait Friends and supporters. Featuring Leanne Benjamin OBE and the students of The Royal Ballet School. Joi...
Published on Jun 12, 2014
This is a must see event for all Tait Friends and supporters. Featuring Leanne Benjamin OBE and the students of The Royal Ballet School. Joi...