Instruments of Dance, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, November 10, 2022

Australian audiences know Wayne McGregor from Dyad 1929, made in 2009 as part of The Australian Ballet’s Ballets Russes celebration; Chroma, choreographed in 2006 and brought into the repertoire in 2014; and Infra, staged by TAB in 2017 but dating from 2008. Obsidian Tear, the opening work in the Instruments of Dancetriple bill, is not that Wayne McGregor. Absent is…

Three ballet companies, three distinctive looks in 2023

Australia’s three leading classical companies have released their 2023 programs, each with a distinctive flavour. The Australian Ballet has a deeply glamorous 60thanniversary season, West Australian Ballet’s line-up gratifyingly features a strong list of female choreographers and at Queensland Ballet the premiere of Cathy Marston’s My Brilliant Career will make Brisbane a must in June. Another must…

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…

David Hallberg named next artistic director of The Australian Ballet

On December 4 last year David Hallberg tweeted that he’d loved revisiting The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House but “there is a very good chance it was my last”. And so it probably was. Today the 37-year-old American superstar was announced as the next artistic director of The Australian Ballet – its eighth….

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…

New Breed, Sydney Dance Company

Carriageworks, Sydney, December 6 The mysteries of dance and dancemaking are great. What drives the need to watch this person closely and not that one? Why does a work speak to something deep within while another is superficially entertaining? How is it that one is engaged intellectually and emotionally with one piece of dance while…

The Nutcracker, The Australian Ballet

Sydney Opera House, November 30. The Australian Ballet doesn’t have an annual tradition of presenting The Nutcracker, although on present indications it could. The ballet doesn’t have as tight a grip on the public (or companies’ bottom lines) as it does in the United States but this year’s Nutcracker was pretty much sold out before…

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…