Katherine Sonnekus on stage at the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
The Australian Ballet has announced that six sparkling young dancers have joined its ranks for the 2018 season. This is a tremendous achievement and Sydney Eisteddfod takes pride in reporting that four of these perfected their performance skills of its stages. With thundering applause, we congratulate Katherine Sonnekus, Matthew Bradwell, Emma Koppelman and Joey Romancewicz, who all occupy a place in our records as talents worth watching.
New Zealander Katherine Sonnekus made her first visit to Sydney Eisteddfod in 2014. She finished a brave second in the Wenkart Foundation Senior Ballet Championship and soon relocated to Sydney where she studied at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy at St Leonards. In 2015, she returned to Sydney Eisteddfod stages where she again held her place in the senior Ballet Championship, took top honours in the Classical Ballet (17 years) and won the second Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship that is awarded annually to the best dancer of the opposite to the winner. With the $10,000 cash prize and $2,000 cash prize in her grasp, she soon departed to New York where she studied at the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Ballet School. On her return to Australia in 2017, she gained experience dancing with The Australian Ballet and has since joined the company on a full contract.
In 2014, Matthew Bradwell came from Melbourne where he was then studying Victorian College of the Arts to compete in The Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship. That year, with 180 entrants the scholarship set a new record to be very good to be noticed, but Matthew succeeded in dancing his way into the final and was soon studying at The Australian Ballet School. Last year, he performed the role of Halation in Giselle on tour with The Dancers Company and he, too, is now living his dream as a member of The Australian Ballet.
Emma Koppelman and Joey Romancecwicz made their mark at Sydney Eisteddfod in 2013. Emma came from Melbourne to try her luck, and after picking several minor awards, she created a distinct impression in the Sydney Eisteddfod Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship and went on to study at The Australian Ballet School. Joey began dancing after following his sister to her ballet class and deciding to give it a try, he studied at Joanne Grace School of Dance in Wollongong until 2016 when he entered The Australian Ballet School on a scholarship. In 2017, he and Emma both toured with The Dancers Company and are now celebrating their success as members of The Australian Ballet.