Giselle, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, May 1 Graeme Murphy fell ill earlier this year and was unable to complete his new ballet, The Happy Prince, in time for its premiere in Melbourne, which was to have been in March. It was then to be performed in Sydney (it is now likely to be seen in 2020). Alexei…

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…

The Australian Ballet and Queensland Ballet reveal 2019 programs

Alice Topp was yesterday named The Australian Ballet’s fourth resident choreographer, joining Stephen Baynes and Stanton Welch, (both appointed in 1995) and Tim Harbour (2014). Topp, a coryphée with the company, is the second woman to be given the title following Natalie Weir. It’s been a long time between drinks: Weir held the post for…

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…

Robyn Hendricks promoted to principal artist at The Australian Ballet

In what has become a tradition at The Australian Ballet, Robyn Hendricks was promoted on stage on Friday in Melbourne to the highest rank of principal artist. She was elevated by artistic director David McAllister after dancing Odette-Odile in Stephen Baynes’s production of Swan Lake. Hendricks joined the AB in 2005, became a soloist in…

Swan Lake: Sydney summing up

The Australian Ballet, Sydney, March 31, April 2, April 5, April 16. The Australian Ballet will undoubtedly stick with Stephen Baynes’s 2012 production of Swan Lake – now being revived for the first time – for many a year to come. It has sold out 21 performances at the Sydney Opera House and a check…

Ako Kondo’s Odette/Odile debut in The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake

Sydney Opera House, April 2. The chance to see a dancer’s first Odette/Odile will always be a drawcard for the truly dedicated ballet-goer, no matter how many times they have seen Swan Lake. Early this month Australian Ballet principal artist Ako Kondo added the role to her repertoire with a performance that revealed many individual…

About last week … March 26-April 1

A CLASH of ballet opening nights saw Queensland Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake go head to head – well, from my perspective. They were in different cities at the time. For reasons both artistic and logistical, I went to the first performance of Dream in Brisbane on April 1…

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…