WA Ballet CEO Steven Roth steps down

SR imageWest Australian Ballet Chief Executive, Steven Roth, has announced his resignation having overseen the transformation of the state’s ballet company over the last eight years.

Mr Roth will step down in February 2016 to take a position as Executive Director of the Scottish National Ballet.

Under Roth’s leadership the company has grown considerably, moved into it’s new home in Maylands, and secured a greater level of corporate sponsorship.

Roth took the reins of West Australian Ballet in 2007 when the company was struggling on many fronts, not least, potential strike action by the company’s 19 dancers that led to a full hearing over three days in the Arbitration Commission, where the dancers won the right to strike over pay and conditions.

A financial bail-out by the then Carpenter government headed off the strike action and led to a spotlight being focused on the State’s arts companies and the low level of investment. Towards the end of 2007, Premier Alan Carpenter announced the $75M ‘Ignite’ package – the largest injection of funds into the arts in the State’s history.

WA Ballet prepared a major business case for the Government, which outlined the need for increased dancer numbers, improved repertoire and a new home for the company. WA Ballet’s accommodation at His Majesty’s Theatre, with only one studio and limited administration and production space had become untenable.

With support from the State (and later the Federal) Governments, WA Ballet was able to increase its dancer troupe to 40 (32 professional artists and 8 privately sponsored young artists) and through a major capital fundraising campaign, deliver a new State Ballet Centre in Maylands.

The last eight years have seen the biggest growth and investment in the company’s history, including a major restructure and re-brand; commissioning of seven new full length ballets (including two co-productions with Queensland Ballet), increased performance schedule including wide ranging state and national touring, dramatic increase in audience, donor and stakeholder support for the company; bringing its operating revenue from $3.2M in 2007 to just on $10M in 2015.

“I am incredibly proud of the company – our artistic leadership, board, dancers and staff – and what we have been able to achieve over these past eight years” says Roth. “There have been significant challenges along the way, but we have always had phenomenal public and government support for our ambitions and vision for the company.

“It is inspiring to see what can be achieved when people come together to support a shared vision. I will be sad to leave Perth and the many friends I have made here, but I am equally excited about the move to Glasgow and all that lies ahead with Scottish Ballet.” Mr Roth said in a press statement.

The WA Ballet’s Chairman, Robert Edwardes, praised Mr Roth’s accomplishments.

“Under Steven’s leadership, the company has achieved some impressive results. Not only is it excelling on stage, but the range of community access and education programmes that the company delivers has expanded dramatically, and the wide range of disadvantaged people and communities that the company now reach is extraordinary.”

Mr Roth’s announcement comes as the WA Ballet concluded it’s 2015 season. Yesterday was the final performance of their production of ‘Cinderella’ at His Majesty’s Theatre.

In 2016 the company will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Alongside ‘Romeo and Juliet’ the company will also present ‘Radio and Juliet’ – Shakespeare’s classic tale set to the music of rock band Radiohead.

Source: WA Ballet Press Release




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