ArtsNational Gold Coast Experience with the Queensland Ballet

ArtsNational Gold Coast members attended an exclusive event offered by the Queensland Ballet Foundation. Those who attended were treated to a tour of a world-class performing arts facility, viewed rehearsals for an upcoming production, and celebrated the day’s success with afternoon tea on the Kite Terrace.

The Thomas Dixon Centre first opened its doors in 1908 as a shoe factory. The Queensland Government bought the Thomas Dixon Centre building in 1975 and it became home to Queensland Ballet in 1991. It has been transformed into a world-class performing arts destination and cultural precinct.

It now boasts exceptional new facilities including a state-of-the-art 351-seat proscenium arch theatre, six dance studios including a dedicated community studio, stunning public art, a café, bar, rooftop terrace, landscaped green spaces, multiple function spaces, a wardrobe workshop (images above right), wellness and treatment facilities and dedicated arts workers’ spaces.

Tour highlights
As you approach the Centre there are three tall, dynamic columns gracing the forecourt. Titled ‘Ensemble’, these sculptures were created by Newcastle-born artist, Jamie North. Made from slag, a product created during the process of smelting iron, the industrial-looking columns cascade with lush native Queensland plants. Upon entering the building we were greeted by the heritage façade exposed on one side and a modern, light-filled Ian Potter Promenade space which connects the various functions of the centre.

The Promenade affords glimpses into the Wardrobe Room where hundreds of costumes are created and refurbished for the Queensland Ballet and Academy. A rare viewing of the Costume Storage area showcased in precise order of characters and sizes, previous and upcoming ballets like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella and The Nutcracker.

The carpet throughout the gallery is an art piece by Aboriginal artist Judy Watson and features baler and pipi shells, casuarina branches and bunya leaves fused with ‘listening springs’, seeds and local birds’ feathers interwoven with tulle and fabricated feathers from the Queensland Ballet costume department.