Winning Australia’s most prestigious ballet award on Tuesday night doesn’t earn you a rest on Wednesday. But Nathan Brook didn’t expect one.
Winning Australia’s most prestigious ballet award on Tuesday night doesn’t earn you a rest on Wednesday. But Nathan Brook didn’t expect one.

The Australian Ballet’s rising star

Winning Australia's most prestigious ballet award on Tuesday night doesn't earn you a rest on Wednesday. But Nathan Brook didn't expect one.

The 26-year-old soloist with The Australian Ballet snared both sections of the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards at the Sydney Opera House.

Streamers flew and the audience whooped at the announcement on stage on Tuesday night. Brook, who lives in Melbourne, had one glass of champagne and headed home to bed at his parents' house in Avalon.

Nathan Brook has been awarded the first prize and the people's choice in the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Nathan Brook has been awarded the first prize and the people's choice in the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. Picture: Tim Hunter.

 

Nathan Brook is a soloist with The Australian Ballet. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Nathan Brook is a soloist with The Australian Ballet. Picture: Tim Hunter.

On Wednesday Brook had an early photo shoot with The Daily Telegraph before regular ballet class with the rest of the company at 11.30am.

Then it was a quick rehearsal, and straight into costume for two performances of New York Dialects at 1.30pm and 7.30pm.

"It's all good," a self-effacing Brook said, admitting he was still on cloud nine over his award.

The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards were announced after the opening night performance of The Australian Ballet's new program, New York Dialects, marking the ballet's return to the Opera House after a 16-month absence because of Covid.

Brook's mother Maureen and his partner Calum Bolton were in the audience for his big moment. But Brook was so sure he wouldn't win that he asked his father and brothers to come another night when he was on stage for longer.

 

Nathan Brook was shocked by the win. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Nathan Brook was shocked by the win. Picture: Tim Hunter.

 

Nathan Brook. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Nathan Brook. Picture: Tim Hunter.

The Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are open to the dancers of The Australian Ballet.

Brook won the Rising Star and People's Choice sections of the annual award, netting $40,000.

This year's judges included popular Wiggle, Emma Watkins, who is a trained ballet dancer.

"She's a beautiful dancer," Brook said. "She's taken classes with us regularly."

Brook said it was inspiring to be working with the Ballet's new artistic director David Hallberg, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

"It feels like this incredible wave we're riding, just with the work we're being given by David Hallberg," Brook said.

Hallberg said ballet calls for "perseverance, dedication, sweat and sometimes tears".

More than 240,000 votes were received in the People's Choice this year.

The other nominees were Imogen Chapman, Jasmin Durham, Serena Graham, Corey Herbert and Cameron Holmes.

Originally published as The Australian Ballet's rising star


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