Photo courtesy of The Australian Ballet. Sharni Spencer, Jessica Fyfe and Eloise Fryer in Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker 2014.

Photo by Jeff Busby.

What were you doing this time last year?

This time last year we were performing Peter Wright’s Nutcracker at the Adelaide Festival Theatre and undertaking preparations for World Ballet Day. I also attended my nephew’s wedding in McLaren Vale, SA. 


Chris’ nephew’s wedding – this time last year. 

 What do you miss?

I miss working with my colleagues and producing live performance.

What are you doing that’s different from last year?

I’m spending time with my family and loving it. In a normal year I would be commuting weekly between Sydney and Melbourne or touring with The Australian Ballet. I’ve also taken up gardening!

Chris Yates’ Family, from the left; Rochelle, Jude, Ava and Chris

What innovations have you, your team, your company or even your friends and family developed?

We’ve learnt to model/plan “COVID friendly” repertoire and have the ability to “pivot” quickly. The company switched to digital programming very soon after the first lockdown launching our digital season At Home with Ballet TV, Bodytorque digital season choreographed and filmed in-house and a series of remote Masterclasses. Our costume department has also become very good at making masks!

What has been positive for you over this time?

Reconnecting with my family has been wonderful, particularly with my son Jude as he prepares for his HSC exams during difficult times.

Chris’ son Jude, Jude’s class of 2020