With Dyad 1929 currently taking the stage on Ballet TV, we thought it was time for a new puzzle!
Commissioned in 2009 for the Company, Dyad 1929 was the first work performed by The Australian Ballet from Wayne McGregor, a then emerging choreographer. Unpicking themes of exploration, discovery and invention, this contemporary piece is the perfect example of the bold choreographic language McGregor is known for.
Swans for Relief have created a beautiful new video showing 32 premier ballerinas from 22 dance companies in 14 countires performing Le Cygne (The Swan) variation from Swan Lake. The 6 minute montage includes Australian dancers – in order of appearance – Stephanie Kurlow (Australia’s first Hijabi Ballerina), and Ako Kondo and Robyn Hendricks from The Australian Ballet.
Misty Copeland made history as the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. She is credited as saying dance is her ‘superpower’. New York based Misty has been using her star power to help uplift fellow dancers. She enlisted 31 of her ballerina friends to lace up their pointe shoes and raise money for coronavirus relief through her newly launched Swans for Relief. So far they have raised over $250,000.
Misty was recently interviewed on USA Today to discuss the Swans for Relief project. Watch the interview here.
For more info about Swans for Relief, or ways to donate, click here.
We recently featured A Ballerina’s Tale, the documentary about Misty Copeland’s journey through dance in our list of top Ballet films to binge in isolation. See the rest of the list here.
As we know, professional dancers rely heavily on access to classes and equipment to maintain their skills and training. As we know, classes and gyms are a thing of the past, so how are our dancer’s moving forward?
DIY Reformer… #Mum Edition! from Principal Artist Amber Scott
Principal Artist Amber Scott was missing her Pilates Reformer when she came across fellow dancer Dimity Azoury’s DIY Reformer! A Pilates Reformer is a piece of equipment that looks like a bed with springs for resistance, a sliding bed, ropes and a pulley system. It generally works the dancer’s leg muscles, and enhances the impact of Pilates exercises. By looping a TheraBand between a couch leg and a baby tricycle wheel, Amber ensures she’ll never miss leg day again!
Winner of both the 2015 and 2019 Telstra People’s Choice Award, Senior Artist Marcus Morelli has discovered a hidden use of his Tarkett mat. To compensate for his lack of weights, Marcus is staying “swole and in control” by improvising and using his Tarkett for weight training!
Company Class: Online Edition! from Chengwu Guo and Marcus Morelli
As you may know, the Company is running online classes to maintain their fitness.
On Thursdays, the Company runs themed classes, where the dancers dress up in theme! Their #Superhero themed week had all sorts at the barre, from Spiderman to Luffy from Attack on Titans! From homemade pasta classes, to superhero-themed barres, the Company is definitely keeping busy!
See @chengwuguo and @marcusmorelli ‘s costumes below!
Chengwu Guo as Luffy from Attack on Titans Sourced from @guochengwu
Brett Chynoweth and Jill Ogai in The Australian Ballet’s 2019 production of Sylvia, photo Jeff Busby
Brett Chynoweth recently spoke to the ABC about what the life of a Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet looks like in our current situation.
Growing up in Melbourne, Brett began dancing at the age of five. He joined The Australian Ballet in 2009, after training at The Australian Ballet School. Brett was the recipient of the DR HC (Nuggett) Combes Travelling Scholarship which enabled him to train in New York and Toronto. He was promoted to Principal Artist at the end of 2018 and you can watch some of Brett’s performance highlights here.
While walking us through his daily routine, Brett reveals some of the difficulties of training at home, as well as the incredible support he, and all the dancers, are receiving from The Australian Ballet.
The Australian Ballet has introduced a Triple Bill Program to Ballet TV.
Andrew Wright Courtesy of the Australian Ballet
The Australian Ballet’s, Andrew Wright, Planned Giving and Patrons Representative, shares his insights on the upcoming triple bill program, featuring on Ballet TV.
After retiring from a 15-year career on stage with The Australian Ballet, Andrew joined the Philanthropy Team in 2019. A proud long-time company member, Andrew shares his unique experience as a dancer and draws on his knowledge of the upcoming works. Heinvites you to enjoy the Triple Bill Program. Available to view Thursday 14 May to Thursday 28 May.
Read Andrew’s thoughts on each piece, before watching on Ballet TV!
Triple Bill Program: Dyad 1929 (McGregor), Warumuk (Page), Narrative of Nothing (Murphy)
DYAD 1929 Artists of The Australian Ballet Photography by Branco Gaica
Commissioned for the Concord triple bill as part of the 2009 season, thiscreationwas the first work performed by The Australian Ballet by then emerging choreographer, Wayne McGregor. This work went on to be presented by the company at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of the 50th Anniversary Tour in 2012.
I vividly recall this creation process as the most mentally and physically challenging one of mycareer. McGregor’s movement vocabulary was like nothing we had ever done before. His work demands every ounce of body and mind. The synergy between being highly cognitive andphysically pushing the body’s boundaries of physical extremes – flexibility, strength and dynamics – is truly stuff that fuels a dancers’ soul. Set to Steve Reich’s pulse-pounding score – Double Sextet – and it’s monochromatic and geometric design,Dyad 1929 is a sleek, modern and thrilling performance experience for audiences. McGregor choreographs a kiss into each of his works – so keep an eye out for where it is in Dyad 1929!
Warumuk (Stephen Page)
Warumuk Vivienne Wong with Artists of the Australian Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre Photography by Lynette Wills
A collaboration with Bangarra Dance Theatre with choreography by Stephen Page, Warumuk was the final piece in the Infinity triple bill in 2012. This new work was also presented in New York City at Lincoln Center alongside Dyad 1929 in the Luminous program.
Based on Aboriginal astronomy, Warumuk moved from the Evening Star to the Morning Star exploring the myths that resonate within the night sky and the myriad of stories of the galaxy. The piece featured dancers from both companies performing, coming together, inspired by Aboriginal culture and exploring these astronomical myths through contemporary dance.
Jennifer Irwin was the designer of the exquisite costumes which incorporated carefully selected body paint. Vivienne Wong particularly shimmers in her costume as The Evening Star. The score composed by David Page, is mix of soundscape and orchestral instruments proving a stirring and moving experience and celebrates the resilience of Aboriginal songs and languages.
Narrative of Nothing (Murphy)
Narrative of Nothing Artists of The Australian Ballet Photography by Lynette Wills
This work opened theInfinity triple bill,commencing the 2012 season, beginning celebrations for the company’s 50th Anniversary Season. Well-known to us all, choreographer Graeme Murphy’s idea for the piece was the notion that audiences, when confronted with the abstract, will map their own narrative on to what they see – hence it’s title, Narrative of Nothing.
The work has Graeme’s signature sculpturing of bodies to create landscapes, incorporating dynamic movement sequences showcasing individual dancers virtuostic talents. It’s set toBrett Dean’s Fire Musicscore, written as a response to the Black Saturday bushfires that devasted Australia’s East Coast in 2009.
The white unitard costumes were created by Jennifer Irwin, each possessing a unique hand painted design of purples, blues and black with sparsely spaced sequins that emphasised movement as they reflected the light. On opening night, we each received a ‘chookas’ card with a segment of the unique design from our own personal costume painted on the front from Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon. A lovely personal touch and keepsake!
Friends of the Australian Ballet extend our sincere thanks to Andrew Wright, Planned Giving and Patrons Representative at The Australian Ballet for so generously sharing these wonderful experiences and insights with FAB members. Watch the Triple Bill now on Ballet TV.