Talented Ipswich dancer Ari Thompson takes leading roles in the Ballet Theatre of Queensland’s production of Alice in Wonderland.
Talented Ipswich dancer Ari Thompson takes leading roles in the Ballet Theatre of Queensland’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

Hats off to ballet prodigy Ari

IPSWICH ballet prodigy Ari Thompson has arrived in Wonderland.

Fifteen-year-old Ari, from Coalfalls, has won leading male roles of the Mad Hatter and the Knave of Hearts in the Ballet Theatre of Queenland's (BTQ) latest production at the Playhouse QPAC in Brisbane.

He joins 61 other dancers in the cast of Alice in Wonderland, all of whom were picked for their dance ability, technique, stage presence and musicality.

“It's a good role. You have to be very exciting, joyful and mad,” Ari said.

“I think it's very much fun and playful.

“It will help with experience on a professional stage.”

This is Ari's third appearance with the Ballet Theatre, after winning roles in previous shows Don Quixote and Snow White.

Artistic director Jodie-Anne White said Ari was a very experienced and focused dancer who brought the role of the Mad Hatter to life.

“This is Ari's third season dancing with Ballet Theatre,” she said.

“Ari's commitment and artistry has recently been recognised by the Australian Ballet School.

“He will be moving to Melbourne to join the school at the end of the Alice in Wonderland season.”

BTQ president Michelle Platz said the Ballet Theatre was a student company which drew its cast from dance schools throughout south-east Queensland.

“Our aim at BTQ is to provide a unique opportunity for young dancers to develop their performance skills in a professional theatre environment,” she said.

Ari has just completed his fourth year of ballet training.

He made what is considered “a late start” into ballet after taking lessons in jazz and tap from the age of 10.

A successful audition last year sees him preparing for the Australian Ballet School.

“I leave Ipswich on January 25 and start at the school on the 27th,” he said. “I'm very excited.”

Alice in Wonderland will be performed at QPAC from January 19 to 22.

Inspired by choreographers Jodie-Anne White and Boris Bivona, the ballet is packed with fantasy, humour, drama and the timeless beauty of Lewis Carroll's masterwork.



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