Sydney Choreographic Centre

Sydney Choreographic Ensemble’s GRIMM. Photo Luca Vantusso

New Dedicated Space and Programs for Choreographers to Open in March

Ensemble to Debut ‘Grimm’ at Riverside Theatres, April 14-17

Sydney is to welcome a new unique centre for choreographers, to be titled the Sydney Choreographic Centre, and will open in March this year with several short courses for emerging choreographers.

Francesco Ventriglia. Photo Stephen A’Court

Co-founded by internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and artistic director Francesco Ventriglia and Managing Director Neil Christopher, the  new Sydney Choreographic Centre’s Master Programs are designed to develop and mentor the next generation of choreographers from Australia and around the world. The courses will  combine practical and theoretical study with dance professionals of international standing.

The Centre will feature a resident performing group, the Sydney Choreographic Ensemble. This outstanding ensemble is composed of established and emerging professional artists Alex Borg, Ariella Casu, Holly Doyle, Brittany-Jayde Duwner and Victor Zarallo.

Francesco Ventriglia has made work around the globe (Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Grand Théâtre du Genève, La Scala, Florence Opera House, Royal New Zealand Ballet) and now brings his considerable talents to creating the Sydney Choreographic Centre and work for its resident ensemble.

When first I had the idea to create a choreographic centre, I wanted to create a place to inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become better than themselves, and to create a better dance than they had thought,” said Francesco Ventriglia.My Italian heritage inspired me to look at the Renaissance creative methods, like Bottega. This is an Italian term meaning workshop or studio, referencing a place where an aspiring artist learns from a master artist. During the Italian Renaissance, about 30 “Botteghe” existed in Florence, with one of the more famous overseen by Leonardo Da Vinci who acquired his skills as a young artist working at the Bottega of Verrocchio.

“Observing other forms of art I have noticed that to be a music composer or a writer, a painter, a sculptor or a dancer, you need to learn techniques, working methods, and history, so I thought, why not to create dance?”

The Sydney Choreographic Centre will open with a number of short programs, including daily Ballet Class, an Individual Program of a single day, and an Intensive Program of three days – the first which will run March 26-28.  The Centre will then open applications in September this year for the 2022 Master Program, the highest level program offered by the Centre. Further information and bookings are available at

The Master Program is a 15-week course based in Sydney, open to participants from the age of 18. Entry is limited to 20 students.

Students will take part in exclusive masterclasses given by acclaimed ballet and contemporary dance teachers, choreographers, principal dancers, set and costume designers, lighting designers, dramaturgs, playwrights, journalists, dance historians and composers – working artists who are leaders in their fields.

Participants will have opportunities during the Master Program to explore their creativity through special workshops with artistic director Francesco Ventriglia and the dancers of his Sydney Choreographic Ensemble.

With its guiding principle of “Learning by Doing”, the Master Program will develop each student’s choreographic expertise, showing how to deal successfully with diverse choreographic languages and working methods, and will guide each person towards finding their individual artistic identity and choreographic voice. In addition, it will help prepare participants for a life in the performing arts by including study in associated practices and skills that will help the emerging choreographer build a career within a company structure or as an independent artist.

In addition to learning from the best, the students will have the opportunity to make invaluable professional connections. As well as being a place where seasoned professionals mentor up-and-coming talent, Sydney Choreographic Centre will be a beacon for artistic directors looking for young new creatives for their companies or for pieces for their festivals.

The Sydney Choreographic Ensemble will make its debut with the world premiere of a dazzling new contemporary dance piece, Grimm, a new work by Francesco Ventriglia, at Riverside Theatres Parramatta, in April 2021. For this debut, the Sydney Choreographic Ensemble is proud to collaborate with three-time Academy Award winner James Acheson, designing set and costumes, and artist Marco Giani who will design audio and video.

I am thrilled to present my first work to the Australian public,” said Francesco Ventriglia. “I am grateful to create for the talented group of dancers of the Sydney Choreographic Ensemble. I am delighted to collaborate again with the extraordinary James Acheson, creating a visionary world where Grimm’s tales are not as you expect.”

Heroes and heroines; dark secrets and magical endings; fairy-tale characters as you have never seen them before – Grimm promises a world of imagination and beauty as Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and others find a path through the mysteries and dangers of youth to find joy, understanding and maturity. There will be a witch of course, but expect the unexpected in this very modern version of old stories. Grimm is designed by multiple Oscar winner James Acheson (The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons, Restoration) and will feature cutting-edge 3D video projection by Marco Giani. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience.


GRIMM by Sydney Choreographic Ensemble

Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta
14-17 April 2021
Bookings: or 8839 3399

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