Michael Keegan-Dolan’s MÁM

Teac Damsa, Heath Ledger Theatre, Perth Festival, February 27 One definition of the West Kerry word mám is yoke and another is obligation or duty but that’s only the beginning of its possibilities. There are also implications of dealing with difficult physical terrain and having a handful of something. On the surface it’s a stern and…

David Hallberg named next artistic director of The Australian Ballet

On December 4 last year David Hallberg tweeted that he’d loved revisiting The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House but “there is a very good chance it was my last”. And so it probably was. Today the 37-year-old American superstar was announced as the next artistic director of The Australian Ballet – its eighth….

The Happy Prince, The Australian Ballet

Choreographed by Graeme Murphy, adapted from Oscar Wilde by Murphy and Kim Carpenter. Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, February 25. Graeme Murphy’s The Happy Prince was to have premiered last year but illness intervened and the choreographer wasn’t able to complete the ballet in time. The Australian Ballet quickly rescheduled it to open the 2020…

Ballet at the Quarry: Light and Shadow, West Australian Ballet

Quarry Amphitheatre, Perth, February 7 A woman climbs, higher and higher, on a path made by the bodies of other dancers. Later she will descend and fall, but her head will be caught by an enigmatic figure in black. Here, and at every point in Graeme Murphy’s deeply affecting Air and Other Invisible Forces, there are…

Grand Finale, Hofesh Shechter Company

Sydney Opera House, January 31. Death is ever-present in Hofesh Shechter’s deeply moving Grand Finale, and so is an unquenchable lust for life. The two conditions are irrevocably twinned. We are born and we die, of that much we can be certain. As anyone who has seen earlier Shechter works will know, the Israeli-born choreographer is…

Colossus, Stephanie Lake Company

Carriageworks, Sydney Festival, January 16 The short Sydney Festival season of Stephanie Lake’s Colossus has ended but the show is by no means over. Next month it will be seen at the Perth Festival and very likely beyond. Lake has said there are possible international engagements to come. Colossus premiered at the Melbourne Fringe in 2018…

Hansel & Gretel, Royal New Zealand Ballet

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland, December 5. It is no small thing to make a full-length narrative ballet that wins its place in a company’s repertoire. Many are attempted and many end up as red lines on a balance sheet unless sets and costumes can be sold or repurposed. Most happily, Loughlan Prior’s Hansel &…

New Breed, Sydney Dance Company

Carriageworks, Sydney, December 6 The mysteries of dance and dancemaking are great. What drives the need to watch this person closely and not that one? Why does a work speak to something deep within while another is superficially entertaining? How is it that one is engaged intellectually and emotionally with one piece of dance while…

The Nutcracker, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, November 30. The Australian Ballet doesn’t have an annual tradition of presenting The Nutcracker, although on present indications it could. The ballet doesn’t have as tight a grip on the public (or companies’ bottom lines) as it does in the United States but this year’s Nutcracker was pretty much sold out before…

Expressions Dance Company becomes Australian Dance Collective

Brisbane’s Expressions Dance Company has a new name to go with its new leadership. Amy Hollingsworth, who became artistic director of EDC at the beginning of 2019, announced at her 2020 season launch that the 35-year-old contemporary company will be known as Australian Dance Collective. Hollingsworth is the third artistic director in the company’s history,…