Telstra and The Australian Ballet’s latest social campaign via R/GA Sydney reveals ballet’s smallest stage for audience of millions


Telstra and The Australian Ballet have launched their latest social media campaign with six micro-ballets created by R/GA, crafted, choreographed and performed specifically for the mobile screen. The spots showcase the talents of the 2020 Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards nominees and calls the public to vote for their favourite to win the People’s Choice Award.


Many Australian Ballet dancers, along with millions of people in Melbourne, were confined to their homes last year. Pushing the confines of space and taking the limits off ballet, each dancer was given a 4×2 metre dancefloor on which they could practice. This restriction became the insight upon which the creative concept was developed: a tiny stage for a tiny screen.

Says Genelle Sharples, head of media, sponsorship and awards, Telstra: “We’re excited with the very different approach we took this year with The Australian Ballet and R/GA, building ballet’s smallest stage for the biggest audience. It feels very apt for the year that’s been. And we’re delighted to bring joy to our viewers – the joy of dance goes to the heart of what the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards are about, but even more so in the current climate.”

Says Kieran Antill, national executive creative director, R/GA: “Every element of the campaign was crafted for social, from the bespoke dancefloor and the elaborate vertical set builds framed for 9:16 mobile screens. Backstage content was created for each dancer’s own social media channels – using the raw nature of social to give viewers a peek at what goes into a performance, showcasing dancers preparing for and explaining the significance of their routines. This gives audiences a unique look behind the polish of ballet and opened a new way for The Australian Ballet to be discovered. We also enhanced the text voting experience by sending voters a thank you bow from their chosen dancer.

“Each performance was meticulously crafted, with each dancer challenged to choreograph a unique routine set to a bespoke melody across each micro-ballet – the instrumentation and the performance was based on each dancer’s own inspiration.”

Says Victoria Curro, managing director, R/GA Australia: “At a time when the entertainment industry has been so severely impacted and even visiting a theatre comes laden with restrictions, we set out to create an experience that gives anyone a front-row seat in the palm of their hand.”

The campaign is led by a connected network of digital media channels – owned, shared and paid, and a main stage website. Voting closes on 21st March 2021, with the winners of the Rising Star and People’s Choice Awards announced at The Sydney Opera House at the world premiere of “New York Dialects” on 6th April 2021.

Telstra has been the Principal Partner of The Australian Ballet for more than three decades, with the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards introduced in 2003 to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming dancers and help them thrive in their careers. The nominees this year are Cameron Holmes, Corey Herbert, Imogen Chapman, Jasmin Durham, Nathan Brook and Serena Graham.

Vote for your favourite at

Group Manager – Nicola Reeves
Senior Brand Specialist – Krista Stringer

The Australian Ballet
Director of External Relations – Penny Waitsman
Sponsorship Manager – Sarah Vick
External Relations EA – Hannah Fulker

Creative Agency – R/GA Australia
Senior Copywriter – Jonathon Shannon
Senior Art Director – Bede Gannon
Copywriter – Kate Ross
Art Director – Courtney Fay
Senior Visual Designer – Katarzyna Komenda
Senior Content Producer – Kyle Belcher
Executive Producer – Chris Smyth
Regional Group Director APAC – Millie Menage
Strategy Director – Mitch Incoll
Executive Creative Director – Kieran Antill
Chief Creative Officer APAC – Seamus Higgins
Managing Director – Victoria Curro

Production House – Pixel Melbourne
Director – Guy Franklin
Producer – Saskia Vaneveld
Film Editor – Maria Papoutsis
Film Colourist – CJ Dobson
Music – Electric Sheep: Kate Stenhouse, Joe Mount, Glenn Sarangapany, Declan Harsent

Photographer – Taylor-Ferne Morris
Retoucher – Pocket Rocket: Sarah Barker