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…

The Happy Prince, The Australian Ballet

Choreographed by Graeme Murphy, adapted from Oscar Wilde by Murphy and Kim Carpenter. Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, February 25. Graeme Murphy’s The Happy Prince was to have premiered last year but illness intervened and the choreographer wasn’t able to complete the ballet in time. The Australian Ballet quickly rescheduled it to open the 2020…

Sylvia, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, November 8 The dash for bathrooms and bars was substantially less frantic than usual after the close of Act I of Stanton Welch’s Sylvia. Heads everywhere bowed over their synopsis sheets. What in the name of all the gods in Ancient Greece was going on? How does one show via ballet that Artemis…

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…

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…

Nijinsky: The Australian Ballet

State Theatre, Melbourne, September 7; Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, November 11. JOHN Neumeier, the choreographer and longtime artistic director of Hamburg Ballet, has made a deep study of Vaslav Nijinsky and is a noted collector of material associated with the dancer. Neumeier’s ballet on the subject is a natural extension of that passion,…

Giselle: The Australian Ballet Regional Tour

Concourse Theatre, Chatswood, Sydney, October 4 The Australian Ballet’s regional touring program has undergone a quiet change. It was created about 35 years ago as The Dancers Company but since earlier this year has gone by an even more prosaic name: The Australian Ballet Regional Tour. Why the change? Presumably so the AB’s ownership is…

Symphony in C: The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, April 29. Symphony in C is one of George Balanchine’s grandest and most cherished pronouncements on the classical tradition. It features a strict hierarchy that cascades down from principals and soloists to an all-female corps and ends in exhilarating fashion with more than 40 dancers onstage – a number at the lower…

Vitesse

The Australian Ballet, State Theatre, Melbourne, March 11. VITESSE presents three certified hits from three of the biggest names in contemporary ballet and turns the dial up as the evening progresses. It starts with one of Jiří Kylián’s mysterious appeals to the heart, takes a charge through the cerebral and physical complexities of William Forsythe…