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KATHRYN BENNETTS

DIRECTOR, COACH FOR FORSYTHE BALLETS

Born in Sydney, Australia, Kathryn Bennetts studied at the Scully Borovansky School of Ballet and was accepted into the Australian Ballet School at age 15. She joined the Australian Ballet three years later and toured extensively throughout Australia and Europe. After three years with the company she joined the Stuttgart Ballet under the direction of Marcia Haydee . During her nine years with the company she danced a large repertoire of soloist roles, working with Sir Kenneth MacMillan, GlenTetley, Hans van Manen, Lar Lubovitch, Heinz Spoerli, John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart and William Forsythe. An injury ended her dancing career earlier than expected, but opened other possibilities.

After completing a two year teachers’ training course with the ballet master of the Stuttgart Ballet, Alexander Ursuliak, she began teaching in the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. She was then a senior teacher at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada, where she stayed for three years. During this time she guest taught for numerous companies worldwide. These included Stuttgart Ballet, Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Finnish National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theater, Zurich Ballet, Vienna Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Winnepeg Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, and the ballet of La Scala, Milan.

In 1989 William Forsythe invited her to return to Europe to join the Frankfurt Ballett as ballet mistress. For the next 15 years she was responsible for the daily runnings of the company, teaching company classes, running rehearsals and organising scheduling.

At the request of the dancers, she gave two teacher’s training courses at the company.

Kathryn Bennetts has also staged many of William Forsythe’s ballets on various companies worldwide, including the Paris Opera Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Compania de Danza, Madrid (Nacho Duato), Australian Ballet, Ballet of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ballet du Rhin, Maggio Musicale Florence, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballett, the Royal Ballet, London, the Ballet of La Scala, Hungarian State Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Ballet West, American Ballet Theater Studio Company, Hungarian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet.

Kathryn Bennetts became the Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2005. In her seven years as Artistic Director the company achieved astounding success. With a repertoire of both the classics and contemporary ballet they toured the world to great acclaim. London, Paris, New York, Moscow, Edinburgh, Athens ,Barcelona, Seville, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Shanghai are just a few of the destinations. The company received the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Acheivment in Dance in 2008 and in the same year was nominated as Outstanding Company by the London Circle Critics at the National Dance Awards Awards. In June 2012 Kathryn Bennetts was awarded the Prix de la Critique by the Parisian critics in honour of her work on the Forsythe repertoire at the Royal Ballet of Flanders. After an incredible success at Sadlers Wells, London, in the spring of 2012 dancing Artifact from William Forsythe, the company was awarded Outstanding Company 2012 at the National Dance Awards in London.

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