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Madam Saronova was the founding organiser and first chairman of the Australian Cecchetti Society Branch of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing; her term of office covering a record span of 37 years from 1934 - 1971. Born in Mill Bank, London her associations with Australia go back to 1916 when she set sail for a 3 year tour of Australasia and the Far East with a company which revolved around the talents of English actress and variety star, Ada Reeves. Madam's future husband, Mr. Harry Jacobs, was the musical director and conductor for the company. Although a student of the Maestro Enrico Cecchetti, Madam was already a trained dancer and well seasoned professional of some 8 years before joining the London classes of Cecchetti following her return from the Southern Hemisphere tour. It was on her 9th birthday that her mother took her daughter Lucie for her first dancing lesson. For 3 years she studied with Paul Valentine, a French dancing master of repute who had settled in London; at the same time she also took classes with the Italian dancer Rita Zalmame thus receiving an introduction to the Cecchetti set work.

A pupil of talent she was soon leading a busy life as a child performer in both pantomime and variety, the only venues where English dancers could perform prior to the First World War. Appearing as "Little Lucie", she was soon being noticed by London critics who even in 1911 noted what were to become her strong points as a dancer - namely a strong virtuoso technique, coupled with much versatility.

Her first overseas performances were given during 1917 in India; leading on to her Australian debut at the Tivoli Theatre, Melbourne. The Company Manager for this tour being Mr. T.J. Holt father of our future Prime Minister Harold Holt, through whose influence the Australian Ballet was founded in 1962. Before the end of 1919, "Little Lucie Linda" as she had been known professionally became Lucie Saronova due to the vogue for Russian dancers. No dancer without a Russian name would have been able to gain employment for many years. It was in this same year that Madam was accepted by the Maestro Cecchetti for instruction in his famous method of dance training, now that he had retired from touring and had settled in London to teach.

Soon Saronova had a big decision to make. After giving her one of the few certificates awarded to his English pupils, which proclaimed her right to teach his method, Cecchetti arranged for an audition with the famous director of "Les Ballets Russes", Serge Diaghilev; however at this same time Harry Jacobs proposed marriage. After much soul searching, Madam decided on the latter course - a decision, which she was never to regret as her marriage, gave her one-month short of 67 years of happiness.

Accompanying Ada Reeves for her 3rd tour of Australia in 1921, Madam and Mr. Jacobs decided to settle in Melbourne where the former opened a dance school teaching for many years, also acting as both choreographer and leading dancer in the ballets which proceeded films at both the Capitol and Regent Theatres; whilst Mr. Jacobs become conductor of the Palais Orchestra, St Kilda. Upon her retirement as a performer Madam made one last return to London during 1934 in order to catch up on further developments in dance, before a return to Melbourne where she settled down to solely teach and so pass on the precepts of her beloved Maestro Cecchetti to successive generations of Melbourne dance students. With the advent of the Second World War, she closed her studio but was brought out of retirement by Miss Jean Alexander, the director of the National Theatre Ballet School in 1949. It was in this final phase of her career that she taught a number of students who were instrumental in seeing that her devotion to the precepts of Cecchetti were carried forward.

Always devoted to her dear Maestro, Madam taught his work with skill, along with joy in dance. Thanks to her determination alongside the pioneering efforts of the original Cecchetti teachers in South Australia (Wanda Edwards) and N.S.W. (Estelle Anderson), the Method has become a well-respected force in dance training in all states of this country. By Athol Willoughby O.A.M.

2022

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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SILVER CANDIDATES

 

1 Oscar Haugerud NSW

2 Kara O'Malley SA

3 Caitlyn Martin VIC RUNNER UP

4 Georgia Lorange QLD WINNER

5 Abigail Morgan WA

6 Giselle Atkins WA

7 Ellissia King QLD HONOURABLE MENTION

8 Sam McSweeney VIC

9 Eileen Jeon NSW

GOLD CANDIDATES

10 Ava Marenjak QLD RUNNER UP

11 Olivia Jensen SA

12 Elizabeth Williams NSW

13 Maya Prtenjaca WA

14 Zachary Medved VIC HONOURABLE MENTION

15 Arainn Pillay NSW HONOURABLE MENTION

16 Gabrielle Brett QLD WINNER

17 Isabella Lowry SA

18 Emma Mills VIC

PERFORMANCE

Danzas Espana/as

- danced by students from Whitney Schofield Academy of Dance

Choreography by Whitney Schofield

PERFORMANCE

On Then and Now

- danced by students from Lane Cove Dance Academy

Choreography by Emma Moran

PRESENTATION OF AWARDS

Thank you to Cecchetti Ballet NSW office bearers and committee.

The Lucie Saronova Panel: Robyn Ross (NSW), Helene Gowers (WA),

Jennifer Pollard (SA), Sandra Allan OAM (VIC) and Janice Heale (QLD)

Adjudicators: Josef Brown and Brooke Lockett

Adjudicated Class teacher: Chelsea Andrejic

Class pianist: Franz Weindl

Rehearsal Director: Dianne Pokorny

To all the volunteers and theatre staff who helped to make this evening possible.

A huge thank you to our sponsors Energetiks.

2019

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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2018

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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details to come

2017

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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The 2017 Lucie Saronova Memorial Awards took place at the Adelaide College of the Arts - TAFE SA on the 14th July and were adjudicated by Roma Egan and Oliver Toth. The audience were entertained by guest performers, 3rd year Adelaide College of the Arts dancers: Felicity Boyd, Jacinta Jeffries, Emma Leggett. Choreographer of work Fluidity, : Jacinta Jeffries . Stage Manager: Kerry Best, Adjudicated Class Teacher & Ballet Mistress: Sally Collard-Gentle, Class Pianist: Fiona Bartlett, and Rehearsal Director: Kay Cranwell. Thank you to all volunteers, the Lucie Saronova Panel and importantly, Cecchetti South Australia who put together a memorable night. A very special thank you to our wonderful sponsor Energetiks and their representative, David Williams for their continued support and generous gifts for the competitors.

Silver Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Laura Van Loon
Ayesha Lucido
Tyler Lindsay
Joshua Hunt
Emily Wilson
Larisa Magda
Tara Newberry
Isabelle Despoja

Gold Candidate Details

In order of performance:


Isabelle Greenwood
Indiana Mccann
Lucy Wilgosh-Kaesler
Amy Gallery
Natalie Koch
Cameron Holmes
Alyssa Hopkins
Emma Holder
Jessi Seymour

Silver Winner

 

Tara Newberry
Teacher: Anne Butler
VCASS, Cecchetti program

Silver Runner Ups (equal)

Joshua Hunt
Teacher: Anne Butler
VCASS, Cecchetti program


Laura Van Loon
Teachers: Jessica & Mike Van Loon
Van Loon Academy

Gold Winner

 

Jessi Seymour
Teachers: Hilary Kaplan & Archibald McKenzie
Alegria Dance Studios

Gold Runner Ups (equal)

Emma Holder
Teachers: Simone Jackson-Pike & Janine Ban
The Perth School of Ballet


Cameron Holmes
Teachers: Robyn Ross & Valerie Jenkins
Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

2016

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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Silver LSMA

Winner: Jessi Seymour, NSW, Teachers Hilary Kaplan & Archibald McKenzie, Alegria Dance Studio
Runner Up: Janae Kerr, NSW, Teachers Robyn Ross & Valerie Jenkins, Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy
Hon Mention: Milla Brinsden, WA, Teachers Simone Jackson-Pike & Janine Ban, Perth School of Ballet
Hon Mention: Tyler Cameron Lindsay, WA, Teachers Simone Jackson-Pike & Janine Ban, Perth School of Ballet
Hon Mention: Philippa Crawley, VIC, Teacher Justine Morris, Ballarat Ballet Centre

Gold LSMA

Winner: Mio Bayly, VIC, Teacher Carole Oliver, Anita Coutts School of Dance, Cecchetti Program
Runner Up: Cameron Holmes, NSW, Teachers Robyn Ross & Valerie Jenkins, Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

2015

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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Whilst our adjudicators, Kimblerly Davis & Steven Etienne were backstage making difficult decisions, the audience was entertained by The Queensland Ballet, Pre Professional programme students Harley Campbell and Zacharie Dun who performed, during the adjudication A little bit in love, Choreographed by Paul Boyd, Music by Bernstein.

During the award ceremony, each candidate received a Certificate of Participation and Large Dancers Bag filled with goodies presented by David Williams, from our generous sponsor Energetiks. A special thank you to our Rehearsal Director & Ballet Master Mr Guy Wheatstone, Class Pianist Waldemar Lis, Stage Manager Hannah Wegener, Backstage goddesses Sarah Chislett, Jacel Dunn, Helene Gowers and the numerous other members of Cecchetti QLD who helped put together a memorable night.

Silver Candidate Details

In order of performance:


Emma Holder Representing WA
Teacher: Ms Courtney Ban, Mrs Janine Ban and Mrs Simone Jackson-Pike, Perth School of Ballet

Jessica Stratton-Smith Representing SA
Teacher: Barbara Komazec, Barbara Jayne Dance Centre

Natalie Koch Representing QLD
Teacher: Janice Heale, The Dance Centre

Laura Thomas Representing SA
Teacher: Jennifer Pollard

Joshua Jack Price Representing QLD
Teacher: Mrs Janice Heale, The Dance Centre

Noah Benzie-Drayton Representing WA
Teacher: Mrs Janine Ban and Mrs Simone Jackson-Pike, Perth School of Ballet

Jessi Seymour Representing NSW
Teacher: Miss Hilary Kaplan, Alegria

Heidi Freeman Representing VIC
Teacher: Karen Freeman

Philippa Crawley Representing VIC
Teacher: Justine Morris, Ballarat Ballet Centre
Lania Atkins Representing NSW
Teacher: Valerie Jenkins, The Dance Spot

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Silver Winner & Runners-Up

accompanied by Kimberley Davis, Steven Etienne & David Williams

Silver Winner

 

Joshua Jack Price (QLD)

Silver Runner Ups (equal)

Emma Holder (WA)

 

Jessi Seymour (NSW)

Gold Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Emily Zilm, Representing SA
Teacher: Susan Clisby

Brielle Pond Representing WA
Teacher: Mrs Janine Ban and Mrs Simone Jackson-Pike, Perth School of Ballet

Nicole Johnson Representing WA
Teacher: Mrs Janine Ban and Mrs Simone Jackson-Pike, Perth School of Ballet

Sarah Clisby Representing SA
Teacher: Susan Clisby

Rebecca Blenkinsop Representing VIC
Teacher: Anne Butler, VCASS Cecchetti Program

Brayden Gallucci Representing NSW
Miss Hilary Kaplan & Mr Archibald McKenzie, Alegria
Katie Rose Shawsmith Representing QLD Teacher – Janice Heale, The Dance Centre Max Day Representing NSW Teacher – Miss Hilary Kaplan & Mr Archibald McKenzie, Alegria Lachlan Broughton Representing VIC Teacher – Anne Butler, VCASS Cecchetti Program

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Gold Winner & Runners-Up

accompanied by Kimberley Davis, Steven Etienne & David Williams

Gold Winner

 

Rebecca Blenkinsop (VIC)

Gold Runner Ups (equal)

Brayden Gallucci (NSW)

 

Max Day (NSW)

2014

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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Whilst our adjudicators, Cathy and Steven Heathcote were backstage making difficult decisions, the audience was entertained by Alegria Senior Students performing Itsenaisyys followed by The Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy performing Raymonda.

During the award ceremony, each candidate received a Certificate of Participation and Large Dancers Bag filled with goodies from our generous sponsor Energetiks. A special thank you to our Rehearsal Director & Ballet Master Mr Craig Cathcart, Class Pianist Janet Turner, Stage Manager Irina Mitchell, Backstage goddesses Nina Goodwin, Jane Moran, Emma Moran, Skye Hodges and the numerous other members of Cecchetti NSW who helped put together a memorable night.

Silver Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Cameron Holmes – Representing NSW
Teacher: Donna Holmes

Lacie Roberts – Representing SA
Teacher: Barbara Komazec, Barbara Jayne Dance Centre

Heidi Freeman – Representing VIC
Teacher: Karen Freeman

Bronte Pike – Representing WA
Teacher: Simone Jackson-Pike & Janine Ban, Perth School of Ballet

Joshua Jack Price – Representing QLD
Teacher: Janice Heale, The Dance Centre

Megan Hilder – Representing NSW
Teacher: Annabel Scott & Denise Utz

Katie Rose Shawsmith – Representing QLD
Teacher: Janice Heale, The Dance Centre

Eden Edward Kew – Representing VIC
Teacher: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School/ Cecchetti @ VCASS Coordinator: Anne Butler

Jessica Stratton-Smith – Representing SA
Teacher: Barbara Komazec Barbara Jayne Dance Centre

Janae Kerr – Representing WA
Teacher: Lani McGeady

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Silver Winner

 

Cameron Holmes (NSW)

Silver Runner Ups 

Heidi Freeman (VIC)

silver Honourable Mention
 
Joshua Jack Price (QLD)

Gold Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Heather MacLachlan – Representing WA
Teacher: Beth James, The Conservatoire

Emily Duhne – Representing SA
Teacher: Barbara Komazec, Barbara Jayne Dance Centre

Nicole Johnson – Representing WA
Teacher: Simone Jackson-Pike & Janine Ban, Perth School of Ballet

Mia Sfara – Representing NSW
Teacher: Robyn Ross/Valerie Jenkins/Elizabeth McMahon/Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

Danielle Whitfort – Representing VIC
Teacher: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School/ Cecchetti @ VCASS Coordinator: Anne Butler

Madison Devietti – Representing NSW
Teacher: Robyn Ross/Valerie Jenkins/Elizabeth McMahon/Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

Renee Freeman – Representing VIC
Teacher: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School/ Cecchetti @ VCASS Coordinator: Anne Butler

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Gold Winner

 

Mia Sfara (NSW)

Gold Runner Ups 

Danielle Whitfort (VIC)

GOLD Honourable Mention
 

  • Madison Devietti (NSW)

  • Heather MacLachlan (WA)

2013

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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Whilst the adjudicators were backstage making difficult decisions, the audience was entertained by SCIMM. Dance Company performing  Black Widow.  Performed by —Scott Pokorny, Tim Barnes, Erinn Arnel, Shaylin Durban & Brittany Page.
Our adjudicators, Elizabeth Hill & Paul Cini were well matched in their duties.

During the award ceremony, each candidate received a Certificate of Participation and Large Dancers Bag filled with goodies from our generous sponsor Energetiks.  We were fortunate to have 2 of the Energetiks directors with us for the performance but could only manage to convince Lynda Chapman to assist with the presentations. 
A special thank you to our Rehearsal Director & Ballet Mistress Miss Sandra Clack, Class Pianist Paul Brickhill, Stage Manager John Stepan , Backstage goddesses Dwan Lith, Rebecca Magazzu, Helene Gowers & Jennifer Pollard and finally Effie Papoulias for managing to not just feed the performers but to keep things ticking over.

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Silver and Gold winners with Adjudicators Elizabeth Hill & Paul Cini.

Silver Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Shaylee Mills - Representing WA,
Teacher: Lani McGeady Toodyay Ballet School

Bronte Pike - Representing WA,
Simone Jackson-Pike/Janine Ban PSB

Emily Duhne - Representing SA,
Barbara Komazec

Lilyana Scott - Representing SA,
Barbara Komazec

Jade Charlton - Representing NSW,
Hilary Kaplan & Archie McKenzie / Alegria

Chloe Michelle Hollow - Representing NSW,
Monique Feain

Rebecca Blenkinsop - Representing VIC,
Anne Butler/Carole Oliver / Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School

Isabelle Greenwood - Representing VIC,
Anne Butler / VCASS

Joshua Jack Price - Representing QLD,
Janice Heale / The Dance Centre

Katie Rose Shawsmith - Representing QLD,
Janice Heale / The Dance Centre

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Silver candidates with Energetiks director Lynda Chapman

Silver Winner

 

Rebecca Blenkinsop (VIC)

Silver Runner Ups 

Joshua Jack Price (QLD)

silver Honourable Mention
 

  •  Shaylee Mills (WA)

  • Chloe Michelle Hollow (NSW)

  • Isabelle Greenwood (VIC)

Gold Candidate Details

In order of performance:

Genevieve St Clair MacNulty - Representing WA,
Janine Ban / Simone Jackson-Pike PSB

Courtney Radford - Representing WA,
Beth James West Australian Conservatoire of Classical Ballet

Madeleine Camac - Representing SA,
Barbara Komazec

Anyah Siddall - Representing NSW,
Robyn Ross & Valerie Jenkins/Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

Aurelian Child-de Brocas - Representing NSW,
Hilary Kaplan / Alegria

Kate Arber - Representing VIC,
Anne Butler / VCASS

Georgia Swan - Representing VIC,
Anne Butler / VCASS

Zoe Logan - Representing QLD,
Janice Heale / The Dance Centre

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Gold Winner

 

Aurelian Child-de Brocas (NSW)

Gold Runner Up

Anyah Siddall (NSW)

Gold candidates with Energetiks director Lynda Chapman

Gold Honourable Mention

Georgia Swan (VIC)

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Silver and Gold candidates with Adjudicators Elizabeth Hill & Pail Cini.

2012

Lucie Saronova Memorial Award

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Held at the Dolphin Theatre, University of WA, Perth on Friday 13th July 2012
 

The annual award is adjudicated at 2 levels, Silver & Gold with students at both levels participating in a closed class during the afternoon followed by an on stage performance of 2 solos each on Friday evening. Our adjudicators, Jayne Smeulders and Vincent Hantam expressed their delight at the standard, intelligence and execution observed throughout the class and performance.

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Silver Winner

 

Saskia Harman of WA

Teachers: Simone Jackson-Pike, Janine Ban, Perth School of Ballet

Silver Runner Up

Isabella Doosey of NSW,

Teachers: Valerie Jenkins & Nina Goodwin

silver Honourable Mention
 

  • Chloe Michelle Hollow of NSW, teachers: Monique Feain

  • Shaylee Mills of WA,
    teacher: Lani McGeady, Toodyay Ballet School

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Gold Winner

 

Lola Howard-Beattie of WA, teacher: Beth James, WA Conservatoire of Classical Ballet

Gold Runner Up 

Grace Robinson of NSW, teacher: Robyn Ross, Valerie Jenkins & Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy

Gold Honourable Mention
 

  • Kenji Wilkie of NSW,
    teachers: Hilary Kaplan, Archie McKenzie, Alegria School of Ballet

  • Kate Arber of VIC,

  • teacher: Anne Butler, Carole Oliver & The Victorian College of the Arts, Secondary Program.