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Stanton Welch

Stanton Welch was born in Melbourne, Australia. It was not until he was 17 that he started to learn to dance, but only 18 months later he gained a scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School which resulted in his spending over a year in the USA, studying and dancing small roles with San Francisco Ballet. On his return to Australia he joined Australian Ballet at the beginning of 1989. His solo roles include the Adolescent in Beyond Twelve, Alan Strang in Equus, the Blue Boy in Sons of a Wayfarer, the Man in Four Last Songs, pas de deux in Return to the Strange Land and Forgotten Land, the Solo Dancer and Yves in The Competition, Des Grieux in Manon, Camille in The Merry Widow, Lensky in Onegin and Jardi Tancat.

Welch's individual choreographic style has been displayed in many commissioned works. The first, A Time to Dance, was created for the Dancers' Company in 1990 and in the same year Three of Us was performed by Australian Ballet as part of a gala programme in Sydney. Of Blessed Memory (1991) was performed throughout Australia and on Australian Ballet's 1992 overseas tour of Italy and the UK, as a result of which Welch was voted Best New Choreographer in London for 1992 by Dance and Dancers. That year he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study choreography overseas and won the NSW Young Achiever Award. His second piece for the Dancers' Company was Before the Rain (1993). Divergence (1994) was given its premiere by Australian Ballet in Melbourne and later formed part of a triple bill of Australian works performed in Washington on the company's 1995 US tour.

Welch was appointed one of Australian Ballet's two resident choreographers in 1995. That same year the company gave the world premiere of his first full-length ballet, Madame Butterfly, and he was commissioned to create Corroboree for the company to perform at UNited we Dance, an international dance festival hosted by San Francisco Ballet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. Three of Us returned to Australian Ballet's repertory for its first Melbourne performances that autumn and Welch created his third piece for the Dancers' Company, Many Colours Blue.

1996 saw Welch's first commission outside Australian Ballet: Maninyas, created for San Francisco. His Red Earth received its premiere by Australian Ballet in Brisbane and later in the same year was televised live. His Cinderella opened Australian Ballet's 1997 season in Melbourne and was performed in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.

In 1998 he created a pas de deux, The Wish, for the Royal Danish Ballet. He also revived Divergence and Madame Butterfly for Australian Ballet, created Powder for BRB and a new piece for San Francisco Ballet. In 1999 he created Indigo for Houston, Taiko for San Francisco, Ander for Royal Danish Ballet and X for Australian Ballet. He restaged Maninyas, working with Singapore Dance Theatre for the first time and Of Blessed Memory for Colorado Ballet. During 2000 he worked mainly in the USA, creating The Garden of Mirth for Atlanta, Bruiser for Houston and Finger Prints for Cincinnatti, he also staged A Time to Dance for the Royal Ballet School in London and created Green for Nina Ananiashvili and principals of the Bolshoi; he developed this relationship the following year, creating a second ballet. He also staged his Madame Butterfly for National Ballet of Canada and created Clear for American Ballet Theatre, Orange for DanceGalaxy, Kisses for Dance Chamber Project.

In 2002 Welch becomes Artistic Associte of Ballet Met in Columbus Ohio and continues as Resident Choreographer at Australian Ballet. He will work with Tulsa Ballet, Sadamatshu-Hamada Ballet and Ballet Met for the first time and create a new work for American Ballet Theatre's George Harrison project.

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