2020 was a challenging year for all of us, including those in the performing arts. That’s why this year’s Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards (TBDA) are especially significant. We’re increasing our support and continuing to showcase the incredible ballet talent on display for Australia to see.

The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are an important component of our partnership with The Australian Ballet. Each year they allow us to spotlight and support Australia’s bright young talent and support them as they grow.

The awards continue to be an incredible barometer for talent, with seven former winners progressing to eventually become Principal Artists of The Australian Ballet.

This year’s cohort of nominees include Soloist Nathan Brook; Soloist Imogen Chapman; Coryphée Jasmin Durham; Corps de Ballet Dancer Serena Graham; Coryphée Corey Herbert and Corps de Ballet Dancer Cameron Holmes. A nomination is a huge honour for these dancers as it recognises their hard work and huge potential as determined by their peers.

Together we’ve been elevating the rising stars of ballet for 18 years, making it the longest running arts awards in Australia. This year we’re proud to increase our support and give the winners of TBDA more for their incredible efforts.

As part of an increase in our sponsorship, the winner of the Telstra Rising Star Award will receive a prize of $25,000. The Telstra People’s Choice Award will also be back this year, with an increased prize of $15,000. You can have your say in the public online vote and voting closes on 21 March. You can learn more about the nominees and vote at Telstra.com.

Winners of the Telstra Rising Star Award will be selected by a panel of judges from both The Australian Ballet, the media and from our ranks at Telstra. The winner of both Awards will be announced at the Sydney Opera House on the opening night of New York Dialects on Friday 6th April.

After a challenging year where most performing arts – including The Australian Ballet – moved online, awarding this year’s prize as the dancers return to the stage is sure to be especially momentous.

We are delighted to increase our support for this dedicated group of young artists. It’s all part of our commitment to help the arts thrive in Australia, especially after a challenging year. We wanted to showcase the joy these artists bring to dance, both on stage and off; and to share the joy with all Australians.

We commend them for their commitment, dedication and sheer determination to continue striving for excellence as an inspiration to us all.

To see our rising stars in action, check out the videos.

Good luck to all of our nominees!