Counterpointe, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, April 27, 2021 Does Counterpointe shine an illuminating light on the journey of classical dance from the 19th century to the 20th or is it a mighty clash of opposing forces? The Australian Ballet’s new artistic director, David Hallberg, sees it as the former. The Australian Ballet’s social media ads, on the other hand, frame Counterpointe as a…

New York Dialects, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, April 6 and 21, 2021 The Australian Ballet returned to the stage in February with Summertime at the Ballet – a Melbourne-only gala celebration after last year’s disappointments. New York Dialects was something else entirely; a manifesto really. This was new artistic director David Hallberg saying this is me and this is where I…

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….

Natalia Osipova’s Pure Dance, Sydney

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, August 29. Natalia Osipova is the most arresting classical dancer of her generation. Others may have an inner fire that burns brightly but she has a furnace. Osipova is incandescent. For the past six years she has made The Royal Ballet her base and that company’s foundational commitment to story-telling…

A new year dawns at RNZB

Biographies of the new intake at Royal New Zealand Ballet are now on the website after last year’s bruising and very public exodus of a large number of dancers. There are currently 32 dancers pictured on the site, 22 of whom were still standing at the end of 2017. Now the dust has settled it…

Misty Copeland debuts as Aurora

The Sleeping Beauty. The Australian Ballet, Capitol Theatre, Sydney, November 22. With her unstinting advocacy for greater diversity in ballet, Misty Copeland’s fame extends well beyond the stage. She is a drawcard no matter what the repertoire. Copeland’s appearances in Sydney aren’t her first in Australia. Three years ago she danced in Brisbane with her…

David Hallberg, The Sleeping Beauty

The Australian Ballet, Brisbane, February 25 When David Hallberg returned to the ballet stage in Sydney in November last year, in Coppélia with The Australian Ballet, he was coming out of a two-and-a-half year layoff due to injury, the last 12 months of which he spent in Melbourne working with TAB’s medical team. The choice…

Hallberg’s date with Beauty

Just before Christmas David Hallberg made his debut as Franz in Coppélia with The Australian Ballet at the Sydney Opera House. It marked his return to the stage after a two-and-a-half year absence due to injury, a year of which was spent in rehabilitation with the AB’s medical team in Melbourne. He danced four performances…

My year in dance

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Pina Bausch made my year. For his final Sydney Festival in January, artistic director Lieven Bertels programmed two bracing De Keersmaeker works, Fase and Vortex Temporum, and the huge thrill was seeing the choreographer herself in Fase (my review is here). Living dance history. Festival clout and money also made…

David Hallberg in Coppélia

In late November David Hallberg told The New York Times that he wanted to “just step onstage quietly here” – the American dancer was referring to Sydney – “and see what transpires”. Realistically there was never going to be much chance of quiet when Hallberg made his first entrance as Franz in The Australian Ballet’s…