CEO Steven Roth Steps Down


West Australian Ballet Chief Executive, Steven Roth, will step down in February 2016 to take a position as Executive Director of the Scottish National Ballet.

Steven Profile PicRoth took the reins of West Australian Ballet in 2007 when the company was struggling on many fronts, not least, potential strike action by the company’s 19 dancers that led to a full hearing over three days in the Arbitration Commission, where the dancers won the right to strike over pay and conditions.

A financial bail-out by the then Carpenter government headed off the strike action and led to a spotlight being focussed on the State’s arts companies and the low level of investment. Towards the end of 2007, Premier Alan Carpenter announced the $75M Ignite package: “the biggest single State Government arts funding injection in the State’s history”.

WAB prepared a major business case for the Government, which outlined the need for increased dancer numbers, improved repertoire and a new home for the company. WAB’s accommodation at His Majesty’s Theatre, with only one studio and limited administration and production space had become untenable.

With support from the current and previous State (and later the Federal) Governments, WAB was able to increase its dancer troupe to 40 (32 professional artists and 8 privately sponsored young artists) and through a major capital fundraising campaign, deliver a new State Ballet Centre in Maylands.

The last eight years have seen the biggest growth and investment in the company’s history, including a major restructure and rebrand; commissioning of seven new full length ballets (including two co-productions with Queensland Ballet), increased performance schedule including wide ranging state and national touring, dramatic increase in audience, donor and stakeholder support for the company; bringing its operating revenue from $3.2M in 2007 to just on $10M in 2015.

“I am incredibly proud of the company – our artistic leadership, board, dancers and staff – and what we have been able to achieve over these past eight years” says Roth. “There have been significant challenges along the way, but we have always had phenomenal public and government support for our ambitions and vision for the company. It is inspiring to see what can be achieved when people come together to support a shared vision. I will be sad to leave Perth and the many friends I have made here, but I am equally excited about the move to Glasgow and all that lies ahead with Scottish Ballet.”

Chairman, Robert Edwardes, says: “Under Steven’s leadership, the company has achieved some impressive results. Not only is it excelling on stage, but the range of community access and education programmes that the company delivers has expanded dramatically, and the wide range of disadvantaged people and communities that the company now reach is extraordinary. West Australian Ballet is truly a company for all Western Australians.”

The announcement has drawn local and international press with articles from The West Australian, Out in PerthBallet News UK, The Stage, London Dance, and Scottish Ballet.