Classical Ballet in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a place of difference, and we are a Company of difference, a semi professional Ballet Company resident in two places, Alice Springs in the South and Darwin 1500 kilometres North. Duprada Dance Company celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2014 after originating in Alice Springs in 1984. Ann Jenner former Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet Company in London was contracted to hold Master Classes in Darwin in 1983. Lynne Hanton OAM, former dancer started a Ballet School in 1974 and had a number of senior students who were given the opportunity to travel with Lynne to Darwin for the Master Classes. Inspired by Ann Jenner's energy and 'anything is possible mantra' returned to Alice Springs and immediately booked into Araluen Theatre which was due to open early in 1984. Duprada Dance Company, known then as The Australian Dancers Company, successfully performed all the repertoire taught by Ann Jenner six months earlier in Darwin. This was history in the making, it was the first ever performance ever to be staged at Araluen, Leisa Jackson was in that original performance and performed with the Company for 10 years. Leisa undertook further studies in performing arts and classical ballet teaching before moving to Darwin where she opened Leisa's School of Dancing the training school for Duprada Dance Company Darwin.
Duprada Dance Company
Restaged Classical Ballets - Swan Lake, Coppélia, The Nutcracker, La Fille mal Gardée, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle, Les Syphides and Paquita.
Australian Etudes, Concerto en Blanc, Minkus Variations, Poet & the Pendulum, Karloff's Chronicals, Fireflies at Dusk,
The Architect, Silhouettes & Soliloquies, Transformations
Ann Jenner, Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet Company in London, was invited to Darwin in 1983 to teach a fortnight of classical ballet master classes to young dancers from around the Northern Territory. Five young dancers from Alice Springs travelled the 1500 kilometre-journey with their teacher, Lynne Hanton, to take part. For 10 days, Lynne assisted Ann in rehearsing the young dancers, resulting in an unexpected but successful performance of 16 short exerpts from the Royal Ballet Company repertoire with the highlight being Les Sylphides.
Flying back into Alice Springs with very inspired young dancers Lynne decided that the soon to be opened Araluen Arts Centre was the perfect opportunity to establish a student ballet company and re stage the ballets that Ann Jenner had staged in Darwin. History in the making as the newly formed Ballet Company (originally The Alice Springs Ballet Company) became the first performance to step foot on the stage at Araluen. Exciting times as the community of Alice Springs could not wait to see a performance at Araluen so we had two full houses. A very excited audience witnessed very excited dancers in a new ballet company who have performed four or five season of dance at Araluen every year since 1984.
Duprada Dance Company has since travelled to locations as far from the centre of Australia as Singapore, Prague and New York to study and perform, and maintains a residence in both Alice Springs and Darwin. The ballet company has had amazing Guest Teachers every year, taken part in International Master Classes, and had the privilege of performing with costumes and sets from the Australian Ballet Company.
Duprada Dance Company celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014. It continues to strive for excellence in the arts in the Northern Territory.
Ballet Girls, Ladies, Pointe and Pas de deux
Duprada Dance Company has a large number female dancers who have studied the technique of Classical Ballet for more than 10 years giving them the strength and flexibility to dance in pointe shoes and study pas de deux. To dance in pointe shoes takes courage and committed training. If one or two classes are missed the dancer will feel weak and unbalanced and ultimately their technique suffers. It is necessary for a dancer to be in a ballet class 5 or 6 days a week to excel, look effortless as they dance allowing them to give strong and exciting performances.
The dancers in the corps de ballet or the body of the company, are required to wear point shoes in most classical ballets. To have a group of 24 or 36 dancers dancing together is challenging as they create dance steps together moving in the same direction and distance as each other making the same shapes mostly in pointe shoes. Committed rehearsals makes a fabulous exciting Corps de Ballet. The technique of dancing on pointe is an art carefully crafted over many years.
Ballet Boys, Men and Pas de Deux
In the Northern Territory Duprada, Dance Company can boast of the significant number of boys and men. It is exciting and unusual to have so many male dancers training with focus and dedication. They train more often than football players and spend the majority of their training time with female dancers. At a pre professional level the dancers are training for 2 hours in class twice a day and 2-4 hours rehearsals each day with conditioning and pilates. To do this much each day they must eat at least 1,800 calories of nutritious food each day to have enough energy.
Pas de deux or the dance of two, is usually a dance where a male and female dancer perform elegantly together. Famous classical ballets have well known beautiful pas deux's which can be exquisite when the male dancer knows exactly how to make his female partner look elegant and etherial. The art of pas de deux is also crafted over many many years and it is the aim of every couple to create an inspiring seamless pas de deux which will take a captivated audience to a place where time stands still.