6 – 24 April // Dress Rehearsal 5 April Sydney Opera House
A collection of George Balanchine’s game-changing classics, ‘Serenade’ and ‘The Four Temperaments,’ tied together by an unseen work from a 21st century mastermind.
Serenade The future is free, flowing and female. The 2021 Season is set to whisk us away with Balanchine’s ‘Serenade,’ which is described to be a “poetry of women in long ice-blue tutus.” Principal Artist Amber Scott is thrilled to be starring alongside the fierce female talents of the company to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Serenade for Strings in C.’
Hallberg’s Thoughts “No other ballet has given me more satisfaction as an audience member than Serenade.”
The Four Temperament Where Serenade implores escapism, Balanchine’s ‘The Four Temperaments’ will ignite the stage. This piece is a hallmark of Balanchine’s innovative neo-classical style, which galvanised modern ballet and sparked evolution within the traditional art form. The technical, stripped-back movements, accompanied by Paul Hindemith’s score, will explore each of the four medieval humours that were believed to govern personality types.
“The final pose at the end of TFT continues to haunt me.”
Tanowitz: New York From walking the hallowed halls of the New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and the modern companies of Martha Graham and Paul Taylor, Pam Tanowitz has set her sights on our Opera House.
Tanowitz’ exploration of gender roles using the male talent of The Australian Ballet is set to uproot performance language as we know it. In Hallberg’s first commission at The Australian Ballet, he seeks to express modern, progressive thinking though the stunning language of tradition.
To partner Tanowitz’ exciting creative vision, Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw will partner her concerto, ‘Watermark,’ to this game-changing commission.
“Tanowitz is one of our generation’s most intelligent creators: focused, insightful and original, just as Balanchine was.”
27 April – 15 May // Dress Rehearsal 26 April Sydney Opera House
In an exploration of movement, and a new, sensual language of ports de bras, this elegant 19th century classic Raymonda is combined with the fierce attack of Artifact Suite by William Forsythe is set to spark innovation through a study of tradition.
Artifact Suite From the strict, prim-and-proper depths of traditional European Dance, Forsythe challenges dances through extended shapes and reimagined technique. Cut-throat speed, dynamic directions and extensions of human physical capabilities will characterise our stages, set to the contrasting musical partnership of Bach’s smooth Chaconne and the heart-kicking thrills of composer Eva Crossman-Hecht.
Raymonda (Act III) Raymonda depicts the traditional wedding of the hero and heroine, showcasing sparkling technique and classical expression, held strongly by Hungarian character dance styles. The performance continuously builds to one of the most famous solos for leading ballerina’s, staged by our Artistic Director himself, David Hallberg.
Hallberg’s Thoughts “Raymonda adheres to tradition and pageantry; Forsythe took this history and ‘imitated’ it, creating a work that overwhelms both dancers and audience with gestural references given new meaning.”
5 – 24 November // Dress Rehearsal 4 November Sydney Opera House
In Shakespeare’s own words, the company elicits a warning…
“These violent delights have violent ends.”
With Principal Artist Ako Kondo debuting her dream role alongside her real-life Romeo, Principal Artist Chengwu Guo, we can almost taste the beginnings of something special! Cranko’s choreography has synthesised drama, dance, design and young, ferocious love in this gorgeous take on the timeless story. With both Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and The Australian Ballet debuting in 1962, we know that this collaboration is the dawn of greatness!
Although Stalin and various Bolshoi dancers pronounced the music as “undanceable,” Prokofiev’s score has not only endured, but is celebrated amongst modern audiences globally. Enhancing the story is Jürgen Rose’s designs of a grandeur, aristocratic, medieval Verona, ensuring a night that will surely whisk us away!
Hallberg’s Thoughts “I have danced performances of Romeo where the audience was with us in every scene; they become a part of the ballet.”
30 November – 18 December // Dress Rehearsal 29 November Sydney Opera House
The 19th-century choreographer Marius Petipa made classical ballet’s most enduring works, including Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi Ballet and artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, has immersed himself in the original notation of Petipa’s oeuvre, producing meticulously researched revivals. His latest is the 1900 ballet Harlequinade, a lively romp based on commedia dell’arte.
He hath been stirred, and Harlequinade returns after eluding stages for over a century! This commedia dell’arte-inspired act is a lively comedy, which was reported to be held dearly by early 20th Century Tsar and Tsarina’s themselves! Through meticulous research and original notation of Petipa’s oeuvre, the timeless ballet has been revived in the original form, ready to be re-received by the world.
Harlequin and Columbine are in love, but as Columbine is set to marry an older and richer fellow, she is locked up by her father’s loyal servant, Pierrot. Pierrot’s wife, however, is sympathetic to the young couple, freeing Columbine as Harlequin is given a magical slap stick by the Good Fairy.
Hallberg’s Thoughts “To resurrect from the archives a ballet by one of dance’s greatest creators was something I cherished, and I look forward to passing the experience on to the artists who will perform the role here in Australia.”
On Tuesday 29 September 2020, David McAllister, in conversation with co-hosts Catriona Rowntree and Amanda Dunn, celebrated the publication of his memoir, Soar: A Life Freed by Dance. Re-watch the recording of the virtual book launch and re-live the intimate reading of one of David’s favourite excerpts and interactive Q&A session.