By Laura Ross for The Voice-Tribune
He thrilled audiences worldwide for more than a decade as the principal artist for the Australian Ballet. He then took a professional leap beyond his dancing career, which landed him in Louisville in 2014 as the artistic and executive director of Louisville Ballet. His passion for dance, thirst for education and spirit of collaboration spurs him forward every day. His name is Robert Curran.
A native of Australia, Curran, 42, began dancing as a child. He later trained at the Australian Ballet School and enjoyed a career as a star and principal artist of the Australian Ballet. During his time with that company, he also gained three academic degrees in business, theater and teaching. He retired from professional dance in 2011.
Louisville Ballet’s charming and affable yet enigmatic leader is happy to promote his company of dancers and staff. “We made a choice early on that it was about the artform and company, not me,” he said. “I had my great time in the spotlight in Australia for 16 years. Our focus is on this generation of dancers.”
With his wildly successful career that spanned worldwide stages, Curran’s entry into a city the size of Louisville was a challenge. “I was working in New York City, and prior, had my career in Australia,” he said. “Coming from the population centers of Melbourne and Sydney, with around nine million people and a budget that’s more than ten times what it is in Louisville, was bold.”