Lisa Bolte was born in Sydney. Her family moved to locations in N.S.W. before settling in Queensland in 1971 where Lisa began dancing. Lisa’s formative training began at the Caprice Dancing School at 7 years of age. Shifting away from her family to live in Melbourne in 1983, Lisa studied at the Australian Ballet School, graduating in 1985. She was then selected to join The Australian Ballet’s corps de ballet in 1986. Enjoying the challenge of key roles from the outset, Lisa was promoted rapidly through the Company’s ranks to Principal Artist in 1993. In 1998 Lisa was awarded the Mo Award for Best Female Dancer after her performances as Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ partnered by Steven Heathcote.
Lisa’s highlights with The Australian Ballet included touring internationally, performing Aurora in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (1988) in London and Japan (1991); ‘Suite en Blanc’ in St Petersburg, Moscow, London, and Athens (1988) and in NYC (1990); Giselle in ‘Giselle’ and Swanhilda in ‘Coppelia’ in London (1992); Kitri in ‘Don Quixote’ in Washington (1994); ‘La Fille mal Gardee’ in Seattle (1994); and ‘At the Edge of Night’ and ‘Dark Lullaby’ at the premiere’s in New York and Washington (1999).
As a Guest Artist, Lisa enjoyed rare opportunities to perform including in Nureyev’s final tour of Sydney, Australia (1991); with the National Ballet of Canada in ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Merry Widow’ (1994); with The Mariinsky Ballet, St Petersburg as Giselle and as Kitri in ‘Don Quixote’ (1997); and with The Royal Danish Ballet as Odette/Odile in Peter Martin’s world premiere season of ‘Swan Lake’ (1998).
Roles created specifically for Lisa include ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ by Petal Miller (1988); ‘At the Edge of Night’ (1997) and ‘1914’ (1998) by Stephen Baynes; ‘Dark Lullaby’ by Natalie Weir (1998); and ‘The Book of Alleged Dances’ by James Kudelka (1999).
In 2002 Lisa left the Australian Ballet to become a mother, returning as Resident Principal Guest Artist in 2005. On her return to the company Lisa enjoyed three wonderful years recapturing many of the most beautiful classical roles. Highlights included performing the Sylph in ‘La Sylphide,’ Aurora in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Giselle’, the girl in ‘La Spectre de la Rose’ and Raymonda in the world premiere season of ‘Raymonda’, choreographed by Stephen Baynes. In 2007 – after final performances as the Sugarplum Fairy in Sir Peter Wright’s ‘The Nutcracker’ – Lisa retired as a dancer with The Australian Ballet.
While completing a Master of Arts degree at Deakin University, Lisa continued teaching and mentoring many dancers around the country. At this time working with Kim Vincs, Director of Deakin University Motion Capture.Lab on research projects, 2009, including research on the uses and benefits of epaulement in ballet and a performance season, ‘Aura’ using motion capture technology and live music.
Invited by Kerry Taughkin to be painted for the Archibald Prize, the painting was selected for the Salon de Refuses, 2009. The next year artist, Anne Scott-Wilson approached Lisa to perform in her ‘Every Day I Wait’ Art Installation, featured in the ARC ONE Gallery, 2010, and Arts Centre Melbourne ‘Aspects of Performance in Australian Art’, Black Box White Cube, 2011, and in ‘Kick Off’ Contemporary Video Art Program, Queensland Public Art Fund, 2012.
In 2009 Lisa assisted Maina Gielgud in staging ‘Giselle’ for the Boston Ballet and then in 2013 ‘La Sylphide’ for Teatro dell’ di Opera di Roma.
Embracing arts administration, Lisa worked as Patron Manager (TAS/VIC) for The Australian Ballet from 2011to 2016, enjoying the opportunities to present at People’s Day and The Australian Ballet Patron events. In association with Renaissance Tours Lisa led tours to Tasmania, 2011 and Houston/New York, 2012.
Always keen to share her experience in dance, Lisa continues to enjoy coaching and teaching as well as recent opportunities performing as a guest with The Australian Ballet in theatrical roles including in Swan Lake, Giselle and in David McAllister’s recent production of The Sleeping Beauty.