The Australian Ballet’s outdoor community performance Ballet Under The Stars returns to the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Saturday 4 November and Celestino is a proud major partner.
John Vassallo, CEO of Celestino, said the partnership with Ballet Under The Stars was part of the company’s commitment to “develop western Sydney through creativity.”
“We recognise that the arts and culture are a vital ingredient for any community,” Mr Vassallo said. “Creativity allows people to engage with and be part of where they live. We’re very focused on the next generation, so we want our support to have a lasting positive impact on young people.”
In this way, Celestino’s partnership with the Ballet Under The Stars program includes a series of educational workshops delivered by The Australian Ballet in the week leading up to the event in schools across Penrith. These workshops will allow around 600 young dancers to participate in a specially curated experience which will culminate in a performance choreographed by The Australian Ballet tutors for a select group of children that will be performed at Ballet Under the Stars.
“Australian Ballet’s CEO Libby Christie has talked about the transformative power of ballet,” Mr Vassallo said, “I believe all arts and culture have that transformative power. Not only does the opportunity to take part in creative experiences allow people to engage in and be part of their communities, having these experiences in your own backyard builds pride of place and belief in a whole range of possibility.”
Celestino is currently developing Sydney Science Park in Luddenham – a 280 hectare fully integrated community that will be an internationally recognised centre for research and development, and innovation.
“It’s well known that to be innovative you also need to be creative,” Mr Vassallo said. “This is part of the reason we are creating a Public Arts Strategy for Sydney Science Park.”
Celestino’s reach extends beyond Sydney Science Park.
“We’re not interested in being the kind of developer that stops at the front gate of its own community. We want to be able to embed and foster creativity across the broader western Sydney region.”
As well as their partnership with The Australian Ballet, Celestino supports Penrith Performing & Visual Arts Ltd. This extends to The Joan’s space activation program through music events like Friday Night Lights and its School’s program that provides an opportunity for more than 400 students to experience live theatre.
Recently, Celestino also sponsored an exhibit at CoLABS in Western Sydney Parklands which saw artists and science professionals create innovative art installations.
“We're excited that Immuno Sight by Didier Balez and Rachelle Balez, a sculptural work created through CoLABS, will eventually find a home at Sydney Science Park,” Mr Vassallo said. “But, again, our focus goes beyond Sydney Science Park, to how we can be involved in events like Ballet Under the Stars and how these events can be used to foster a vibrant cultural life in western Sydney.”
Mr Vassallo was born and bred in western Sydney.
“When I was growing up you had to go east to find opportunity,” he said. “At Celestino we’re about creating tomorrows' success stories by providing those same, if not better, opportunities for communities in the west.”