It may surprise many that Australia’s oldest dance company is not one of our funded professional organisations.

Yet for nearly 90 years Ballet Theatre Queensland (BTQ) has provided a unique and invaluable adjunct by enabling budding young ballet dancers to experience what that career entails in the studio and onstage alongside established artists. Its significance is recognised by patron David McAllister, former artistic director of The Australian Ballet; BTQ alumni have gone on to work in companies around the world.

Selected by audition, this production’s 61 students ranging in age from eight to 22 come from 20 southeast Queensland private dance studios – including Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast – and Queensland Ballet Academy

BTQ’s connection with Queensland Ballet (QB) has historically been its strongest in terms of alumni and artistic directors, and that continues. In the five years since former QB principal Clare Morehen took the reigns, she has continued to raise the bar in terms of her vision and ambition for the company. The positive results have reflected its necessity for growth.

As with her previous productions, this new version of The Sleeping Beauty demonstrates flair for adapting traditional choreography to the strengths of her charges. That she has been able...