Joining our Elite Masterclass Series teaching faculty this April is Craig Cathcart. His journey as a performer began at the age of five when he started training in the Cecchetti method before undertaking his ballet studies at The McDonald College. Later, he joined The Australian Ballet School and began his career as a professional dancer joining The Australian Ballet from 1999-2006, followed by the Norwegian National Ballet. After completing his graduate certificate in Arts & Entertainment Management, Craig transitioned into a Company Manager position at the Queensland Ballet. He now works within their senior management team as Head of Artistic Operations.
As a former student of The McDonald College, what is your fondest memory of your time at the College? And how did your training prepare you for life after school?
My fondest time was being in the studio learning ballet from Allan Cross and Josephine Jason. They were the most nurturing teachers with the ability to bring the best out of their students. That training is what set me up for a long-term career.
You’ve had an extensive career stemming from your days at The Australian Ballet and the Norwegian National Ballet. What are some of your career milestones?
So many to choose! Dancing Benvolio to Angel Corella’s Romeo & Juliet. We had such a great time on stage telling the most tragic love stories of all. Then there’s that time William Forsthye coached me in Limbs Theorem, and Nacho Duarto guiding me through Arcangelo. I also had the privilege of meeting and dancing in a handful of Jiri Kylian’s work.
More recently, you’ve worked in senior management positions at the Queensland Ballet, where you’re currently based. Can you tell us about your key role in the organisation working as Head of Artistic Operations?
I’ve been in Brisbane for five years working with Queensland Ballet – first as Company Manager and now as Head of Artistic Operations. Initially, my role was pastoral care and administration for the dancers. It’s now evolved into more of the strategic planning and overall operations of the productions we perform. That includes everything from theatre venue bookings, orchestra management, creative negotiations and liaison to overseeing how the ‘jigsaw’ gets put together and stays on track to create a fantastic season.
This will be the fourth consecutive year of our Elite Masterclass Series program, with many students travelling from all over Australia to participate. What are you most looking forward to about working with aspiring dance students?
I’m actually looking forward to getting back into the studio. I can’t wait to see the inspiration from our future generation of performers and give back some of the teaching that’s been handed down to me.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were given as a young performer?
After all of your hard work, just enjoy what you do.
21 – 23 April 2020