Ben Davis is a soloist with The Australian Ballet. Light hearted and fun-loving, he is at the same time humble and appreciative of this life. Generous with his talents, he often guest teaches with various programs throughout Australia, motivating students to be their best. He expands upon his onstage artistic creativity by also working as a freelance professional make-up artist.
Born in Melbourne in 1982, Ben Davis used to tag along to his sister’s jazz ballet classes and copy the routines from the back of the studio before he started attending his own classes at age seven. In a Whittlesea Leader interview in May of 2010, he good humoredly admits, “I didn’t really like ballet at first: I just saw a bunch of girls standing around, not doing much and listening to some kind of clunky music. I liked musical theatre, but I found out I couldn’t sing, so that got shot out of the way.”
Ben trained with Leeanne Rutherford of Ballet Theatre Australia. He was 18 before he really decided that a career in ballet was a possibility. In another interview, Ben tells us “My teacher used to call me “flash in the pan boy”, totally gung-ho one minute and not so much the next. Then at 20 I really knuckled down and crammed as much training as humanly possible into the following two years.”
Ben joined The Australian Ballet in 2005. He was awarded the Maurice Sullivan scholarship in 2007. In 2009, he was promoted to coryphée and later to soloist for the 2011 season. His repertoire highlights include The Outsider in Robert Helpmann’s The Display 2012, Gremin in John Cranko’s Onegin 2012, First Red Knight in Ninette de Valois’Checkmate 2011,The Baron in Graeme Murphy’s The Silver Rose 2010, Stanton Welch’s Divergence 2009, The Professor in Alexei Ratmansky’s Scuola di ballo 2009, Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929 2009, Nicolo Fonte’s The Possibility Space 2008 and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort 2005.
“Every Pro was once an amateur.”
The Australian Ballet company is based in Melbourne. The company regularly tours to all the major cities within Australia, with lengthy seasons in Melbourne at the State Theatre, and in Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. Giving approximately 200 performances a year, the Australian Ballet is the busiest ballet company in the world with a vast repertoire which includes the major classical and heritage works as well as contemporary productions.
Ben is also a professional make-up artist, having received a Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services. He is a huge fan of pop music and loves singing in the car (which he sometimes forgets is not a soundproof booth).
Dancer Answer: Advice for Aspiring Young Dancers
Q: From Katie MN-Professional dancers often have long rehearsals during the day followed by a performance in the evening. For some dancers this occurs every day for months at a time. What are some tips you use to beat exhaustion and avoid injury?
A: Ben-Hydration and nutrition. I can’t think or retain information if I am not fueled. You need to know your body’s limitations and learn to work smarter rather than harder. There is no point in pushing to the point of exhaustion.”
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