Jade Wood, senior artist with The Australian Ballet, has been selected as the winner of our annual Telstra Ballet Dancer Award for 2018, and will receive a $20,000 prize. Now in its 16th year, the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award recognises emerging talent in the field of ballet, encouraging the dancers to thrive in their pursuit of excellence in the art form.
Jade started dancing at the age of three in Cairns, Queensland and has dedicated her professional life to ballet since. After attending the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne from 2004, she toured with The Dancers Company in 2009 and 2010 and then joined The Australian Ballet a year later. Since then, she’s travelled to the US, China and UK for performances and was recently promoted to senior artist with the company in 2018.
Over the 16 years that we have funded the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award, it has become a key metric for success in the art and a career highlight for some of Ballet’s finest talent. It is one of the longest running arts partnerships in Australia, alongside our ongoing sponsorship of the Telstra NATSIAA.
We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with The Australian Ballet, connecting audiences to the grace and joy of the art and enabling Australia’s best ballet dancers to excel in their already outstanding careers.
Our judges included Telstra’s Carmel Mulhern (Group Executive, Legal and Corporate Affairs) and myself, Libby Christie – Executive Director of The Australian Ballet and David McAllister – Artistic Director, as well as journalist Cecily Ryan from the Sunday Telegraph.
The winner of the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award was announced on stage at the end of the opening night performance of Cinderella at the Sydney Opera House. As part of the Award, public voting also saw Jade announced as the winner of the Telstra People’s Choice Award, with an additional $5,000 prize.
The six dancers nominated for the award this year were coryphée Nathan Brook, coryphée Corey Herbert, soloist Brodie James (also a 2016 nominee), soloist Rina Nemoto (2014 nominee), senior artist Jade Wood (2016 and 2014 nominee) and corps de ballet Lucien Xu.