1952–2005: Ross Stretton began his dance training as a tap dancer in Canberra before taking up ballet at the age of seventeen. He was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in 1971, and in his first year was awarded the Nureyev Bursary, followed by the Harold Holt Memorial Scholarship. He joined The Australian Ballet in 1973, was promoted to soloist in 1974 and principal artist in 1978. From 1979–96, Ross performed with companies in the US and UK, before becoming the sixth Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, expanding its repertoire to include many outstanding contemporary ballets. Three words encapsulated his vision for the company: ‘creativity, energy, passion’. After four–and–a half–years as AD of The Australian Ballet, Ross became Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet in London, before returning to Australia in 2002.
Ross Stretton talks passionately from a performer's persepctive about the challenge for dancers to keep the dance personal, how not to lose the individual dance heritage under the weight of the collective heritage, and to embrace change.