A voyage through contemporary Australian dance
Alice Topp’s Aurum moved critics and audiences to superlatives, tributes and tears when it premiered in 2018. Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi – repairing cracked pottery with precious metals – the work explores damage, healing and the beauty of our flaws. The dancers’ powerful movement and profound emotion are framed in a breathtaking staging by Jon Buswell, featuring a reflective golden floor and ripples of burnished light. This acclaimed work will have its New York premiere at the Joyce Theater in May.
Stephen Baynes’ Constant Variants mirrors the elegant classicism of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with velvet-soft, delicate dance. Gliding airborne, captured in warm light and vast picture frames, his dancers conjure the mesmerising beauty of Renaissance paintings.
Verve ends with a bang: Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, the hit of our 2015 contemporary program. The stripped-back clarity of its set, designed by Sydney architect Kelvin Ho, contrasts with the ferocious complexity and speed of the choreography and the drama of the specially commissioned electronic score by German duo 48nord. Adrenaline tingles all the way to the explosive finale.
April 2019: 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25
Duration: 1 hour & 20 min approx
High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Giselle …”
Oscar Wilde’s lyrical story of a statue who gives his all to help humanity is full of poetic beauty, heartbreak, sly humour and sharp social commentary. In 2019, Graeme Murphy, who created The Australian Ballet’s acclaimed modern versions of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, turns his flair for transformative storytelling to Wilde’s moving tale. The possibilities for dance in Wilde’s characters – the golden Prince, his loyal friend the Swallow, the seductive Reed, the pitiful Match Girl – will be fabulously realised in Murphy’s distinctive choreographic style.
This all-Australian world premiere will feature a specially commissioned score from the renowned composer Christopher Gordon, who composed the scores for the films Mao’s Last Dancer and Master and Commander, alongside the work of award-winning artist and director Kim Carpenter, who adapted the story and created the colourful design,for the ballet. Playful and poignant, The Giselle will capture children’s imagination with its vivid spectacle and adults’ attention with its timely message: a kind heart shines
brighter than gold.
May 2019: 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16
Meet Sylvia: she’s a legend.
The story of Sylvia – an arrow-wielding nymph who scorns love, falls in love, outwits her abductor and wins through to happiness – first became a ballet in Paris over 150 years ago. The delightful Delibes score, which drew a rave review from Tchaikovsky, has since attracted some of the world’s leading choreographers, including Ivanov, Ashton, Balanchine and Neumeier. In 2019, Stanton Welch’s new production of Sylvia will have its Australian premiere. Welch, who recently staged his versions of La Bayadère and Romeo and Juliet on The Australian Ballet’s stage, is a resident choreographer of the company, the artistic director of Houston Ballet and one of the art form’s great storytellers. His full-length Sylvia revolves around three intertwining love stories and features a striking new design by Jérôme Kaplan (sets and costumes) and Wendell K. Harrington (projections), the creative dream team behind The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella. Welch’s Sylvia (which requires the lead ballerinas to learn sword-fighting) promises three strong superheroines, all the passion and humour of Greek myth, virtuoso dancing and one of ballet’s most charming scores.
November 2019: 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21