Swan Lake: Sydney summing up

The Australian Ballet, Sydney, March 31, April 2, April 5, April 16. The Australian Ballet will undoubtedly stick with Stephen Baynes’s 2012 production of Swan Lake – now being revived for the first time – for many a year to come. It has sold out 21 performances at the Sydney Opera House and a check…

Ako Kondo’s Odette/Odile debut in The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake

Sydney Opera House, April 2. The chance to see a dancer’s first Odette/Odile will always be a drawcard for the truly dedicated ballet-goer, no matter how many times they have seen Swan Lake. Early this month Australian Ballet principal artist Ako Kondo added the role to her repertoire with a performance that revealed many individual…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Queensland Ballet, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, April 1. The second act of Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins with deliciously controlled chaos. At the behest of Oberon, lord of the forest and fairies, Puck has got busy with magic love dust. The result is instantaneous passion for whoever is first seen, complicated by…

Flying high

Queensland Performing Arts Centre, June 26. TREY McIntyre is a prolific American choreographer who has made more than 100 works – he is only 45 – and is widely known and admired in the US. When he announced last year he was closing his Trey McIntyre Project as a fulltime ensemble to concentrate on a…

Highland fling

Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, May 20. IN August Bournonville’s enduringly popular Romantic ballet, a young man dozes by a vast open fireplace and is woken by an apparition, a beautiful winged creature who kisses him. Immediately enraptured, he tries to catch her but she eludes his grasp and, in an effect that never…

Affecting ardour

Queensland Ballet, Lyric Theatre, Brisbane, June 27 KENNETH MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is big in every way. At street level testosterone-fuelled gangs jostle and fight in the marketplace, revelling in their ancient grudge, as Shakespeare called it. Inside the great house of Lord Capulet the tumult is even greater, but is within the hearts of…

Coppelia

Queensland Ballet, Brisbane, April 24 GREG Horsman’s appealing new production of the 19th century comedy Coppelia gives it a human scale and an Australian setting. It is the late 1800s and we are in the South Australian town of Hahndorf, settled in 1839 by German migrants and thus celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. I…

QB Nutcracker; David Hallberg at the AB

The Nutcracker, Queensland Ballet, Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane, December 7 Cinderella, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, December 14 IN many places in the northern hemisphere, but particularly in the US, seeing The Nutcracker at Christmas is as necessary as having gifts and dressing a tree. There’s another necessity too: so popular has The Nutcracker…

Giselle

Queensland Ballet, Playhouse Theatre, Brisbane, June 21 and 22 BRISBANE is turning into quite the ballet town. All performances of the Bolshoi Ballet’s Le Corsaire and The Bright Stream were sold out and one might have expected the visit from such a starry company to have diverted dollars from the Queensland Ballet. Far from it….

Cinderella

Queensland Ballet, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, April 5 QUEENSLAND Ballet’s ambitious Cinderella has much to say about what new artistic director Li Cunxin wants for his company and a little something to say about Li himself. Li’s story is well known. He was plucked from deepest obscurity in rural China to be trained in ballet…