Dimity Azoury and Benedicte Bemethave been promoted to principal artists of The Australian Ballet. The surprise news was announced by Artistic Director David McAllister onstage at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, following their performances in Stanton Welch’s Sylvia . Both dancers learnt of their appointments during curtain calls with their loved ones present.

Dimity Azoury and Benedicte Bemet. Photo © Kate Longley

“Dimity and Benedicte started their ballet journeys in regional Australian towns, which showcases the breadth of talent we have in our country. They have been nurtured and supported by many people along the way to be where they are now. I am sure their stories will be aspirational for young budding dancers across the county,” said McAllister.

Dimity Azoury. Photo © Kate Longley

Azoury, who is from Queanbeyan, New South Wales, began dancing at the age of four. She studied at Canberra’s Kim Harvey School of Dance for 11 years before joining The Australian Ballet School in 2005. She became a member of The Australian Ballet in 2008 and was promoted to soloist in 2015 after her debut as Baroness...