Martha Godber was raised in Brisbane, Australia and attended her local ballet and academic schools. In 2010, Martha completed an Advanced Diploma of Dance at Australian Dance Performance Institute, Brisbane and competed as a semi-finalist in the Gene International Ballet Competition, London. In 2011, she moved to Germany to study at Hamburg Ballettschule de John Neumeier and during her training was invited to perform with the company in numerous productions including Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Following that, she accepted a traineeship with The Washington Ballet, DC from August 2013 – March 2014, where she performed in productions of Giselle and The Nutcracker. Following this, she joined the Queensland Ballet as a Young Artist in 2014 under the direction of Li Cunxin. Martha has also attended international summer schools in Amsterdam, Nederlands (2011) and at Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto (scholarship recipient, 2013).
Currently, she is a Teaching Artist with Queensland Ballet’s EdSquad as well as a teacher in local ballet schools and at Agility Pilates & Physiotherapy, where she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion of dance. She is also a student at Queensland University of Technology studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with a view to further her studies in medical practice and research.
Being a participant in the Genée was an invaluable experience. The competition provides the opportunity to work with renowned dancers, teachers and choreographers; perform onstage alongside other talented dancers and connect with people from all over the world.
What did you learn from the Genée?
For me, the Genée expanded my view on the world of ballet. The competition moves you from the comfort zone of a local studio into a bigger community where so many dancers world-wide are all working towards a similar goal. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of learning and perfecting a neoclassical piece (by Liam Scarlett) to be performed at the conclusion of the competition.
What is your fondest memory from the competition?
I think it is hard to pinpoint a particular moment, although whenever I look back on the experience I remember the feeling of walking into the studio each day with a talented, competitive yet friendly group of people who subconsciously pushed each other to challenge their boundaries and improve each day.
Do you have any advice for future candidates?
Just do it!
Would you recommend the competition to others?
Yes – as a young dancer, this competition exposes you to different teachers, dancers and experiences that mirror the expectations of company dancers.
How did the Genée benefit you personally or professionally?
The Genée experience benefitted me personally and professionally. In a personal sense, I have connections with dancers internationally who will continue to make important contributions to dance throughout their careers. Professionally, the competition not only helps to improve technique and artistic ability but assists in developing skills that can be transferred into any career including; ability to make connections with people from other countries, confidence, discipline and dedication etc.
NBS Summer Workshop July 2013: