Three of the WA Ballet’s most adored dancers are retiring

The West Australian Ballet are currently celebrating their 70th anniversary with a stellar production of Swan Lake, but when the curtain falls on the final performance on Sunday it will also be the end of three of the company’s most cherished performers time on stage.

Principal Matthew Lehmann and Demi-Soloists Christian Luck and Claire Voss will leap off stage for the final time on 11 December.

“It’s a special moment in every dancer’s career, to celebrate their swan song…” said Aurélien Scannella, Artistic Director of West Australian Ballet. “Matt, Christian and Claire are three of our most dedicated and celebrated dancers. I congratulate them on each of their incredible careers, they will be missed.”

Lehmann joined West Australian Ballet in 2005, ahead of a tenure at Alberta Ballet in Canada, he returned to Perth 2010 and was made Principal by Scannella in 2013 after the season of John Cranko’s Onegin.

He has danced countless lead roles including as Young Dracula in Dracula, Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Albrecht in Giselle and as both Sebastian and William Greenwood/the Eagle in the current season of Swan Lake along with starring contemporary roles in David Dawson’s On the Nature of Daylight, Nils Christe’s Before Nightfall and Gary Lang’s Milnjiya, Milky Way – River of Stars. Lehmann has also been lauded for his many choreographic works, including Behind those beautiful eyes which took the stage at Ballet at the Quarry 2021.

“Matt has left a large legacy, leading many of West Australian Ballet’s world-class productions with gravitas, and has inspired countless dancers of the next generation.”

“From the charming Drosselmeyer to the emotive Dracula and so many other lead roles, Matt has set the tone at West Australian Ballet with his world-class partnering, his technicality, and his expression. It will be bittersweet to see his final performance, and we thank him for sharing his gift with Western Australia for so long.” Scannella said.

Christian Luck leaves West Australian Ballet as the longest serving dancer after joining the State Ballet Company in 2004 after graduating from The Australian Ballet School. Luck has starred in roles such as Marcello in La Boheme, the Prince in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs and as Dr Coppelius in Coppelia.

“Christian’s dedication to West Australian Ballet for over 18 years is so impressive, we are a grateful for the thousands of hours he has put towards this Company, and to leave as our longest serving dancer is a wonderful achievement.” Scannella said.

Claire Voss joined West Australian Ballet in 2016 after time with Dortmund Ballet, Zurich Ballet and Finnish National Ballet. Voss will be remembered by her emotive performances as Myrtha in Giselle and as the Sylph in La Sylphide.

“Since joining West Australian Ballet in 2016, Claire has epitomised the dedication and hard work that our Company stands for. She undertook each role with aplomb.” said the company’s Artistic Director.

OIP Staff

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