Verve, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, April 5 The Australian Ballet’s contemporary triple bill Verve, having a Sydney season this year after its premiere in Melbourne last year, presents works from the company’s three resident choreographers, each with a distinctive style that serves the program well. Veteran Stephen Baynes, who has held his post since 1995, is a…

Houston Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet

State Theatre, Melbourne, June 30 Stanton Welch looked thrilled after the premiere of his Romeo and Juliet in Melbourne, as he should have. The former Australian Ballet dancer and current AB resident choreographer had brought his own company, Houston Ballet, home. In the audience – along with supporters from Houston – was a galaxy of…

A new generation rises to the challenge

Sydney Opera House, April 29. THE Australian Ballet’s first staging of Frederick Ashton’s Symphonic Variations alongside revivals of his coolly mysterious Monotones II and lucid, delightful one-act version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is well overdue. Ashton’s choreography hasn’t surfaced at the AB since 2004 (the last time La Fille mal gardée was presented) and…

To each her own

Sydney Opera House, April 2, 4 and 7 TWO and bit years ago, when Paris Opera Ballet came to Sydney with its production of Giselle, I was able to see three excitingly different readings of the title role, two of them from debutantes. We seem to get our fair share of important firsts in Australia….

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…

‘A time of renewal’

Maina Gielgud, artistic director of The Australian Ballet from 1983 to 1997, is in Sydney preparing to restage her acclaimed 1986 production of Giselle, last performed by the company in 2008. It will premiere in Melbourne on March 13, 2015, with seasons to follow in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide. In a frank and lively conversation…

One evening, four works

The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, April 29. LET’S start with the very best bit first. The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra had a particularly good night on Tuesday under Australian Ballet music director Nicolette Fraillon’s leadership. The quadruple bill Chroma covers a lot of ground: Mozart for Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort and Sechs Tanze,…

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…