Nutcracker – The Story of Clara

The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, May 2. Many decades ago, when I was visiting Canada, a young woman asked me whether Christmas was in June in Australia. She knew winter in the southern hemisphere happened in the middle months of the year. It followed then, that Christmas must be in June because Christmas is…

The Australian Ballet in 2017

Next year the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre, home to both The Australian Ballet and Opera Australia when they are in Sydney, will close for seven months. It’s in a good cause, as theatre machinery that’s done sterling work but is now outdated will be replaced. It’s been there since the Opera House opened…

Character building: dance isn’t only for the young

The received wisdom is that ballet is strictly a young person’s game. When a classical dancer gets near or just beyond 40 there is much marveling at their longevity and conjecture about what they will do when they retire. There are always exceptions, of course. Think of the wondrous Alessandra Ferri, who on June 23…

‘I am in the right place’

Robert Curran was a long-serving principal artist with The Australian Ballet, from which he retired in 2011. He’s now leading a small company in the United States and relishing a role that is both very similar – ballet is ballet, the studio is the studio – and yet very different from his  former life. LOUISVILLE…

Everything old is new again

Capitol Theatre, Sydney, February 20 and February 24. GRAEME Murphy’s Swan Lake has been a touchstone production – and a fortunate one – not only for The Australian Ballet as a whole but for many dancers. At its premiere in Melbourne on September 17, 2002, Simone Goldsmith started the evening as a senior artist and…

David McAllister in conversation

THE Australian Ballet has designated 2015 its Year of Beauty, driving the point home with sumptuous imagery. Not since 2009 has the AB’s promotional material had such a romantic feel. The program, announced on September 16, culminates in a new production of Sleeping Beauty, to be staged by AB artistic director David McAllister, and begins…

Lucinda Dunn, Cojocaru and Kobborg

The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, April 22 and 23 AS the curtain came down on Lucinda Dunn’s farewell performance for The Australian Ballet she wept, the streamers flew, the audience roared and an era ended. Dunn has been with the AB for 23 years, longer than any other ballerina, and was a principal artist…

Retirement and promotion at the AB

 La Sylphide, Sydney Opera House, November 25 IT’S one of the Australian Ballet’s most striking images. Olivia Bell looks at the camera with a cool expression, her head inclined slightly downwards so the effect is of mystery rather than direct challenge. Her hands are on her hips and her weight is placed on her left…

Cinderella, the Australian Ballet

Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. State Theatre, Melbourne, September 17 I CAN say one thing with absolute certainty about the Australian Ballet’s new Cinderella: it will take many viewings to reveal all its riches and intricacies. For that reason it’s likely to be a keeper for the AB and a rarity. A new full-length story ballet…

Ty King-Wall

The Australian Ballet has a new principal artist WHEN David McAllister walks onstage at the end of an Australian Ballet performance it usually means just one thing, and so it was the afternoon of April 6  in Sydney. McAllister named Ty King-Wall, 26, the AB’s newest principal artist after his performance as Basilio in Don…