Together Live 2017

Sydney City Youth Ballet with the SYO Philharmonic. The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney. September 23. The room is always full of hope and desire when student performers take to the stage, particularly if they are dancers or classical musicians. Some will have started as young as four or five and certainly by eight or nine. In…

Lucinda Dunn: Act II, updated

When I spoke to former Australian Ballet principal artist Lucinda Dunn recently about her new career as artistic director of Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy she was deep in rehearsals for Sydney City Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker. SCYB is where the academy’s students gain performing experience before – if they are good enough and fortunate…

Naming names: looking back on 2014

I’VE avoided making neat lists of 10 of this and 10 of that in my survey of 2014, which is good when it comes to the individuals who made the deepest impression on me. I decided not to divide the names by art form or vocation. There are dancers, opera singers, actors, actresses, directors and…

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…

Lucinda Dunn – a tribute

IT is not a great surprise that Lucinda Dunn has chosen to retire from The Australian Ballet next month, but it is a great loss. While she has had some recent injuries and has been selecting her repertoire carefully, these are not unusual circumstances when a dancer has had as lengthy a career as Dunn’s….

Manon

The Australian Ballet, Brisbane, February 21 MANON, which premiered 40 years ago next month (March 7, 1974), is in an exclusive club, the handful of full-length 20th century ballets that have insinuated themselves firmly into the repertoire. The Australian Ballet doesn’t exactly have it on high rotation but, including this year, Manon has shown up…

Dance in 2013

THE Australian dance-lover had plenty to enjoy in 2013, as long as there was a decent travel budget to hand. Paris Opera Ballet returned to Sydney, the Bolshoi had a season in Brisbane, The Australian Ballet premiered a new version of Cinderella by Alexei Ratmansky (Melbourne and Sydney only, although Adelaide sees it in 2014),…

La Sylphide

The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, November 7 WHAT to do about a ballet as dreamily brief as La Sylphide? In the middle of this year West Australian Ballet took the minimalist approach and added nothing to fill out the evening. Over the years the Australian Ballet has taken several paths. In 1996, under Maina…

Symmetries

Monument, The Four Temperaments, After the Rain pas de deux. The Australian Ballet, Canberra Theatre, May 23. MANY a distinguished artist has come a cropper when asked to create something to order for a special occasion, whether they be a poet laureate, a painter or, in this case, a choreographer. Being handed weighty, worthy subject…

Vanguard

 The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, April 30 GEORGE Balanchine was indisputably a game-changer, to use the Australian Ballet’s phrase in explaining the ethos behind Vanguard, the triple bill that opened in Sydney on April 30. The game-changer tag is somewhat less cut and dried in the case of Jiri Kylian and Wayne McGregor, who…