The Friends joined Kim Carpenter in his studio to learn more about how he became involved in production design, discuss his love for Oscar Wilde’s love story, and take a look at the paintings he has made during lockdown that will be shown as part of his upcoming exhibition, The Happy Prince.
“It has been a joy to harness all my visual references from Wilde’s book and the process of creating and designing the ballet in order to reinvent them so as to tell the story in a purely visual form to be experienced in an art gallery. So the lockdown has allowed me an absorbing, driven creative period.”
– Kim Carpenter
Kim is exhibiting The Happy Prince from 13 to 25 October at ARO Gallery in Sydney.
Acclaimed theatre devisor/director/designer Kim Carpenter AM will exhibit 26 major artworks in response to Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince – the classic story of The Prince and The Little Swallow.
Carpenter recently adapted The Happy Prince for The Australian Ballet in collaboration with renowned choreographer Graeme Murphy. He also designed the sets and costumes. The production opened at The Queensland Performing Arts Centre on 25th of February. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Australian Ballet cancelled the August season at The Arts Centre, Melbourne and the November-December season at The Sydney Opera House.
Wilde’s immortal tale of love and sacrifice, tenderness and joy – combined with the creative journey of making a new full-length ballet with collaborators – choreographer, Graeme Murphy, and composer Christopher Gordon – fuelled Carpenter’s inspiration to create a suite of exquisite paintings.
Carpenter’s images are imaginative and whimsical, playful and atmospheric. They reflect Wilde’s wit, poetry and social commentary. The Happy Prince’s observations of struggle and survival, the disparity between the rich and the poor, are equally relevant today. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the divisions in society that Wilde wrote about in his story in 1888.
The Happy Prince
Tue 13 to Sun 25 October
11am – 6pm
51 William St, Sydney
Join David McAllister for a very special virtual conversation celebrating The Australian Ballet’s Don Quixote choreographed by Rudolph Nureyev.
In an online event curated especially for our philanthropic community, you will be treated to a live in-conversation between The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister and Marilyn Rowe who performed the roles of the Street Dancer and the Queen of the Dryads in the 1973 film also starring Rudolph Nureyev and Robert Helpmann.
Hosted by Friends Deputy Chair Bruce Pollack in conversation with Leo Schofield AM
Twenty years ago this month, Australia welcomed the world to Sydney. Leo Schofield was the Artistic Director of the 2000 Sydney Olympic and the 2000 Summer Paralympics arts festivals. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a journalist, critic, creative arts festival director, and trustee of countless arts and cultural organisations.
Join The Friends for a warm convivial online conversation with Leo Schofield as we explore his passion for the performing arts, involvement with the Paris Opera Ballet and revisit fond and funny Olympic moments from Sydney 2000.
Friends of The Australian Ballet Chair Greg Khoury and Friends sub-committee member, dancer and remedial therapist Gayle Wakeling-Taylor will explore some of the ideas recently shared by The Australian Ballet and La Trobe University into joint management and treatment.
‘I want to be someone who really touches and inspires the audiences I dance for’
– Adam Elmes
Where did you grow up?
On the Northern Beaches of Sydney
What age did you start dancing? I started dancing when I was 8 with my mum as my teacher.
What’s your first memory of dance? I would say my first memory of dance would just be dancing around the house with music on when I was young. I remember my mum used to put on old musical theatre tunes and we would boogie around the living room together.
Favourite ballet/contemporary work?
My favourite piece I’ve ever seen was Grand Finale by Hofesh Schechter Company.
Favourite dance film/book/podcast? I really love Mao’s Last Dancer, Li Cunxin’s history and how he came to be the director of QB is really interesting to me.
Adam Elmes, courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Favourite moment on stage? I was given the awesome opportunity to dance with the company in a corps role last year while I was in Level 8 at ABS in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I was a card in the third act and it was by far the most thrilling and nerve wracking thing for me but I loved every moment.
What repertoire/role do you aspire to perform? Some balletic roles I would love to perform some day are James from La Sylphide, Blue bird from Sleeping Beauty or the Jack in the Box from Nutcracker.
Who is your dance idol or mentor?
I like to be inspired by the people around me as opposed to some celebrity dancers so people like Benedicte Bemet and Marcus Morelli are examples of people who I get to see dance often that inspire me to grow as a dancer.
Do you prefer the classical or contemporary repertoire? I definitely found such a great passion for classical repertoire during my time at the school and my introduction to the company but I have to say contemporary rep is usually my favourite to perform.
How have you been keeping busy during lockdown? I’ve been reading and learning about various things, watching tv shows and hanging with my roommates/family as much as I can.
What are you most looking forward to about being back in the studio? The space! You forget how it feels to be able to run and jump and slide when you’re cooped up in lockdown. I’m excited to remember what that love for really moving feels like.
What do you think makes TAB such an incredible company to be a part of? Something I really love about TAB is the culture of encouraging and supporting each other as we progress together. It feels like quite an Australian way to achieve things, together in spite of differences. I love the laughter and fun we have while staging shows too, it really is my dream job.
What is your biggest aspiration for your career? I want to be someone who really touches and inspires the audiences I dance for and makes people feel things; changes their way of thinking. I know that’s a little cliché but if I can make someone in the audience laugh or help them realise things about the world in how I move then I don’t want anything else.