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Melbourne City Ballet - Bringing dance to a wider audience

Australia - Melbourne City Ballet was only formed around two years ago, but it is already proving a hit with dancers and the public alike. Members of MCB, which has recently teamed up with Harlequin Floors, spoke to Mark Rasmussen, Harlequin’s global marketing manager.

As a vibrant new company MCB has provided a rallying call to dancers, still at the peak of their performing careers, who found themselves not fitting into the existing structure of more established classical ballet companies.

Principal dancer Yuiko Masukawa, who met artistic director Michael Pappalardo when they were dancing Madame Butterfly, explained: "We started talking about how we have so many beautiful dancers, but we don’t have a company or a place to dance." Michael went on to explain: "So we created this space that could accommodate differences in dancers and to create work which was entertaining."

The recruitment of former dancer with West Australia and Queensland Ballet, Iona Marques as ballet mistress and senior dancer has also contributed to the success of MCB. She spoke of their ambition of growing into a major arts company in Victoria. "MCB is playing to a gap in the market for production content, dancers and the public. You get to work every day, you get to challenge yourself and somehow improve yourself as a dancer, because it doesn’t feel like work at all."

When speaking about the company’s choice of Harlequin floors for their studios, Iona added: "We can’t do what we do without the perfect floor. The perfect floor makes for beautiful dancing." Yuiko agreed: "When I dance on a different floor I always have a fear of getting injured, but now I can dance one hundred percent."

Company manager Sean Memery pointed out, that when "choosing a floor for MCB we did try a few companies to see what was a perfect floor for us. Artistic Director, Michael Pappalardo continued: "In selecting Harlequin we went for the best product on the market and so many people have since come into the space and said we have the best floors in Melbourne."

Looking to the future Michael would like MCB to grow and is passionate about delivering great work at an affordable price to urban areas and rural areas around Victoria. "We want to create a great space for dancers to enjoy and great dance for the public to come and see," he said. "The future for Melbourne City Ballet is definitely bright," concluded Sean.

You can see highlights of the interviews as part of Harlequin Floor’s "Meet the stars" video series on their YouTube Channel.

15th January 2015

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