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Director: Ashley Killar
The career in dance of Ashley Killar spans four decades in three continents. After training at the Royal Ballet Junior and Senior Schools he danced with Stuttgart Ballet where John Cranko encouraged his first choreography. He was a founding member of Scottish Ballet and danced as a Soloist with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, choreographing several ballets while still a dancer. In England he worked with de Valois, Ashton and Darrell and MacMillan.
Moving to South Africa as Ballet Master for Pact Ballet he taught classes and rehearsed numerous productions, including those of his own choreography. It was here that his interest in indigenous dance and general dance education began where he gave his first lecture series. He was then invited to form Napac Dance Company in Durban. There, Killar was responsible for bringing all forms of dance to all peoples of Natal-Kwa Zulu. Leading 30 dancers (augmented by a Youth Company) and a team of designers, technicians and musicians he directed groundbreaking and highly successful enterprises over five years. Dance Forum won him awards such as the Nederburg and Scenaria prizes.
In 1991 he spent the year as ballet master to Scottish Ballet working with Galina Samsova. Ashley Killar then went on to lead Royal New Zealand Ballet as Artistic Director, revitalizing the repertory and taking the company on critically acclaimed tours to USA and Germany. As well as introducing Balanchine ballets into the repertory, he promoted the work of indigenous New Zealand choreographers and commissioned an original score for his own version of Midsummer Night’s Dream, set in contemporary New Zealand.
While director there he founded the RNZB Junior Associate Training Group. A growing interest in dance education led Mr Killar in 1996 to direct Ecole Ballet and Dance Theatre in Sydney. As well as teaching senior students and writing and delivering public lecture-demonstrations he presents two performances by young dancers annually. Over the past fourteen years numerous students from his school have graduated to dance companies and institutions worldwide. Mr Killar recently completed a Masters degree in dance education from Queensland University from where he graduated with High Distinction. He is currently engaged on PhD study of John Cranko’s narrative ballets, having been invited to participate in Prof. Stephanie Jordan’s dance research programme at Roehampton University, London.
Principal and Co-Director: Jane Allyn
ARAD RAD RTS
Jane Allyn, Co-Director and Principal of Ecole was born in England and at the age of eleven immigrated to Sydney with her parents. She was fortunate to receive all her early ballet training at the Frances Scully - Borovansky School of Ballet, at that stage one of the finest schools in Australia and completed her ballet training at the Royal Ballet School, London. She was then offered a contract with CAPAB Ballet in Cape Town, South Africa. Expecting to dance with this Company for a year or two, she adored Cape Town and dancing with CAPAB, and was to stay in South Africa for over 20 years. During her dancing career of over 10 years with CAPAB Ballet, she performed corps de ballet, soloist and principal roles in their extensive repertoire, which included all the major classic ballets; as well as creating roles in s new works. She worked with many well-known dancers, producers and choreographers. The dancer who had the greatest influence on her own work was Margot Fonteyn and the producer, David Poole. In the middle of 1979 a serious back injury brought her dancing career to an early end. Since then she has worked as a Company Teacher for PACT Ballet (Pretoria) and NAPAC Dance Company (Durban); Lecturer in Classical Ballet at the Pretoria Technikon; Guest Teacher at numerous RAD and Cecchetti Summer Schools; Artistic Director of Junior Dance Theatre of Natal, for whom she produced and choreographed various productions; formed training courses attached to NAPAC Dance Company and Royal New Zealand Ballet; and while living in New Zealand became a Registered teacher with the RAD and began teaching RAD Syllabus work. In mid-1996 she became Co-Director, with Ashley Killar, of Ecole Ballet Studios and has since entered numerous students (and student teachers) for RAD examinations and dance competitions. Jane Allyn has written two books on ballet
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