Harlequinade Final Dress Rehearsals

Harlequinade Final Dress Rehearsals

Register below if you are interested in attending the dress rehearsal of Harlequinade to ensure your spot on the waitlist.

After his century-long sleep, the irrepressible Harlequin is wide awake and ready to charm ballet lovers of all ages.

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.

Choreography Marius Petipa
Staging and additional choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Assisted by Tatiana Ratmansky
Music Riccardo Drigo
Scenery and costume designs Robert Perdziola inspired by Orest Allegri and Ivan Vsevolozhsky
Lighting design Brad Fields

With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australian Orchestra

Harlequinade is a co-production of American Ballet Theatre and The Australian Ballet.

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Romeo and Juliet Final Dress Rehearsals

Romeo and Juliet Final Dress Rehearsals

Register below if you are interested in attending the dress rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet to ensure your spot on the waitlist. 

John Cranko’s epic version of Shakespeare’s most heart-rending love story returns to The Australian Ballet.

The Story
An artist who effortlessly fused dance and drama, John Cranko richly evokes the grandeur of the Capulets’ ball, the fierce clashes of the rival families and the brief, luminous flare of young love. His Romeo and Juliet premiered in 1962, the year The Australian Ballet was founded, and generations of dancers have grown up with the production and gone on to shine in its many dream roles.

The Music
Despite meddling from Stalin’s officials and an initial rebellion from the Bolshoi Ballet’s dancers (who pronounced the music ‘undanceable’), Prokofiev’s score has proven itself as immortal as Shakespeare’s play. As clearly as words could, the music lays out the progress of the story, evoking swordplay, ecstasy, murder and the looming approach of the lovers’ fate.

The Design
Jürgen Rose’s dramatically resonant design captures the pageantry of medieval Verona, contrasting the heavy splendour of the aristocratic elder generation with the billowing fabrics of the young lovers’ carefree abandon.

Choreography John Cranko
Music Sergei Prokofiev
Staged by Reid Anderson
Costume and set design Jürgen Rose
Lighting design Jon Buswell

With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Orchestra

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Get to Know Some of Our Australian Finalists Competing in The Fonteyn

Get to Know Some of Our Australian Finalists Competing in The Fonteyn

This year’s 15 finalists in the Royal Academy of Dance’s Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition (previously known as The Genée) include five brilliant Australian talents.

This Thursday, The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition will be held online for the first time, with the final scheduled for September 9th 7:30pm BST. The final will be hosted by RAD President, Dame Darcey Bussell, and RAD Artistic Director, Gerard Charles.

Of the 15 finalists, there are 5 Australians – Mia Atkinson, Christian Carlo-Stella, Milei Lee, Amber Mitchell-Knight, and Amelia Soh.

We took some time from their busy schedules to get to know four of our Australian finalists a little better before watching them impress this Thursday in the finals.

Mia Atkinson, 15

Where are you from?
I am from Sydney, Australia.

What is your dance training background?
I first started training in Picton, New South Wales when I was just 4 years old. I then moved to Sydney with my family when I was 10 years old to further my training.

Where are you now and where do you train currently?
I am located in Sydney and I am currently in my 3rd year of full-time training at the Tanya Pearson Academy.

Do you have a favourite variation to perform, and why?
My favourite variation to perform currently is Raymonda Act 2 Variation 2 which I am performing in the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition Final. I love the music and all of the challenges this solo brings.

What’s your favourite memory from your time in the dance world?
My favourite memory so far is going to London last month to train at the Royal Ballet School for their summer intensive.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself hopefully dancing in a leading company overseas!

Christian Carlo-Stella, 18

Where are you from?
I am from Sydney, Australia.

What is your dance training background?
I started ballet when I was 6 years old and had begun full-time when I turned 15.

Where are you now and where do you train currently?
Last year I moved to London to train at the English National Ballet School and I am just about to go into my second year this September.

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration in the dance world is Vadim Muntagirov. I’ve always loved watching him whether it’s on Instagram or YouTube as he has such clean technique yet can still amaze the audience with effortless tricks.

How has COVID impacted your preparation for the recording of the finals?
Training for The Fonteyn finals has been tricky, especially due to COVID, although very rewarding. Some of the ways it has affected us is that the competition is now being held online therefore learning all of the solos was quite tricky, especially if our Wi-Fi wasn’t always the best. It has also affected me as I found it quite hard to perform to a camera compared to a live audience, as well as not having an audience that gives you the adrenaline to push through to the end of a solo.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to see myself in a ballet company somewhere in Europe hopefully climbing the ranks within the company.

Milei Lee, 17

Where are you from?
I am from Melbourne, Australia, but my background is half Japanese and half Chinese.

What is your dance training background?
I started ballet at 3. When I was 6 years old, I began training at the Brian Nolan Academy of Dance. I spent a valuable 5 years there, building my dance foundation before starting full-time training at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. I am so fortunate to have received the most incredible training from my teachers in Australia. They have continuously supported me through my ballet journey which I am beyond grateful for.

Where are you now and where do you currently train?
I moved to London in September 2020 to commence by studies at the prestigious English National Ballet School. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I cannot wait to be heading into my second year at ENBS this September.

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I have always been hugely inspired by Marianela Nunez. I am constantly mesmerised by the way she carries herself on the stage – I admire her charisma, artistic quality, technical control, and the connection she creates with her audience. I actually spotted her in Covent Garden one day and I excitedly went over to say hi. She was so friendly and gave up her time to chat to me. Not only is she a sensational dancer, but she’s also such a genuine and kind-hearted individual – this makes me love her even more!

Do you have a favourite memory from your time in the dance world?
I have made some incredible memories in the 14 years I have been dancing but one memory that I treasure is the time I won the Genée Dance Challenge in 2016. This competition was an eye-opening experience as I got to perform alongside so many talented dancers around Australia and had the amazing opportunity to be judged by company directors from The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet and The Royal New Zealand Ballet! After participating in the Genée Dance Challenge, I was determined to make The Fonteyn my next big goal. It feels so surreal that I am now a Fonteyn finalist for 2021!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to be a dancer in a ballet company, performing and touring around the world and be the inspiration for the next generation of dancers in the industry.

Amber Mitchell-Knight, 18

Where are you from?
I was born in Perth, WA and then moved to Sydney at the age of 2 with my family. I lived in Sydney for several years before my family and I relocated to regional NSW but I continued to travel to and from Sydney every day to continue my full-time training.

What is your dance training background?
I began my training at the age of 2 at Mosman Dance Academy. I then spent a few years training at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy and The Teresa Johnson Ballet School before transitioning to studying a full-time course at Classical Ballet 121 in 2017. I moved to Melbourne in 2019 to continue my training at the National Theatre Ballet School under the Artistic Directorship of Mr Damian Smith. I have always trained in the RAD syllabus completing all my exams with high distinction and achieving 100% on two occasions.

Where are you located now and where do you train currently?
Currently I am in Melbourne studying my Advanced Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) at the National Theatre Ballet School with Artistic Director Damian Smith and Associate Artistic Director Susan Sargison.

Do you have a favourite variation to perform and why?
I have had the privilege to learn and perform a number of variations and it’s difficult to narrow down a favourite. If I had to choose though I would say my favourite variation is Raymonda Act 2 Variation 2 which happens to be the solo I am performing in the Fonteyn Finals. I love the difficulty and challenge of this variation, finding that consistency in each section. This solo showcases a beautiful soft and regal quality. There is a lot of port de bras and upper body work which is my favourite element of dancing, expressing through the arms and movement of the upper body. A close second would be Paquita’s Wedding Variation. I had the opportunity to compete in the YAGP finals with this variation and like the Raymonda variation, the focus and attention to the upper body and port de bras gives me that magical sense of dancing and expressing myself and moving in the most delicate and beautiful way. Along with the upper body quality that is prominent in both solos, I also love turning and experiencing the natural forces and momentum whilst spinning and at the same time,
challenging myself to stay balanced and in controlled.

How has COVID impacted your preparation for the recording of the finals? 
Making it into the Fonteyn Finals was so exciting and amazing but couldn’t have come at a more challenging time in Melbourne. There is no denying it, COVID made my preparation for the finals incredibly difficult. Melbourne had gone through multiple lockdowns since the initial outbreak and we currently sit in our 6th. Ongoing lockdowns have impacted the consistency of my training significantly, flicking between training in my small one-bedder apartment to the studios at NTBS. The ability to film my performances and take part in the online lessons and masterclasses within the competition proved immensely challenging. I ended up filming the initial required classwork on the day Melbourne went into its 5th lockdown which was tough having had very little time to prepare let alone practice.

Whilst in lockdown I was able to watch the online classes for the commissioned variation but was initially not permitted to dance with the other finalists as I was not allowed in a studio. I frantically took notes as I watched over zoom and tried to get as much of the piece in my body as I could until I could get back into the studio and run it properly. Luckily restrictions were eased for 1-2 weeks and I was able to get back to the studio and start work on the commissioned piece and revisit my other solos. I thought it best to try to film my pieces prior to the submission due date just in case we were thrown into a further lockdown. But before I’d had the chance to film, we were suddenly given 5 hours’ notice of yet another lockdown. Already on my walk home for the day, when I heard the news, I turned around and rushed straight back to the Theatre at 6pm to film before the curfew at 8pm. There was no choice as I knew this would likely be the only chance I would get to film anything to submit, not knowing how long this new lockdown would go for. It was incredibly disappointing and frustrating knowing how little studio time I’d had to learn the commissioned piece and prepare and practise all three pieces to submit for the Finals, especially knowing there was still so much room for improvement.

The National Theatre has a beautiful stage which is where the filming was planned to take place. Unfortunately, in the rush, with very limited resources available at such short notice, the lighting was not great resulting in having to submit studio footage instead. All that said though, even as I remain in lockdown having now surpassed 200 days, I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious competition. I know I put forward the best that I could under the circumstances and enjoyed participating in all elements of the competition I was able to. Sure, it was not how I would have wanted it to be but it was still a wonderful experience and well worth the challenge.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself dancing in a company and experiencing my dream of performing on stage professionally surrounded by so many incredible and talented dancers. I look forward to being able to perform some of my favourite ballets and roles and having received some of the best opportunities working with some great dancers and choreographers. I would also like to have had opportunities to teach younger students and work to inspire them to follow their dreams and guide them in building upon their knowledge of the art form. At some point I intend to commence studying nutrition as this is a keen interest of mine and a path I would like to pursue as an extension to my career as a professional dancer having a passion for food and health.

 

Tickets for The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition finals are available at www.royalacademyofdance.org/ and will grant you access to the livestream and on-demand recordings.

A FAB NIGHT IN: En Pointe Chat with Kerri Glasscock

A FAB NIGHT IN: En Pointe Chat with Kerri Glasscock

It is our great pleasure to invite all Friends of The Australian Ballet members & followers to join us at our next live and online event.

Join The Friends NSW for a warm chat with Kerri Glasscock. Hosted by Friends NSW Chairperson Greg Khoury, this live discussion and Q&A will delve into Kerri’s passion for the arts and get the inside scoop on what’s next for Sydney Fringe Festival.

Thursday 26th August | 5-6pm Live Discussion and Q&A
Hosted by Friends Chair Greg Khoury with special guest Kerri Glasscock.

Kerri is the founding co-director of artist run company 505 which operated the legendary live music club Venue 505 in Surry Hills (2004-19), and award winning Old 505 Theatre in Newtown (2015 to present). Beyond the walls of 505 Kerri has worked in various roles in the Sydney arts scene as performer, director and theatre practitioner. In 2013 she was appointed as CEO & Festival Director of the Sydney Fringe Festival. Under her stewardship Sydney Fringe has grown from a small community event to the largest independent arts festival in NSW now presenting work across 25 postcode areas of Greater Sydney.

A leading advocate for the Independent sector she has contributed to a number of key action plans and resulting policy reforms including the Committee for Sydney’s – Sydney a 24 Hour City Report the City of Sydney’s – Live Music and Performance Action Plan, Inner West Council’s – Off Broadway Plan. In her role at Sydney Fringe Festival she works extensively leading the way in temporary re-adaptive use of space for performance that has resulted in the report: An Anthology of Space 2015-2018: Activating Unused and Under-utilised Space for the Performing and Creative Industries of NSW.

She currently co-Chairs the City of Sydney’s Cultural Sector Advisory Committee, is a founding Board Member of the Night Time Industries Association, sits on Create NSW’s Festival Art Form Board and is a Board Member of PAC Australia.

Kerri served as a Director of the City Recital Hall Board from 2015-2019, in 2011 she was included in the Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People list.

Hosted via Zoom, a reminder email will be sent two hours prior to the event starting. Event access details will be provided upon RSVP.

This virtual event is free for Friends members and $5 for non-members.
BOOK

Friends in Conversation | Elizabeth Toohey

Friends in Conversation | Elizabeth Toohey

In 2017, Elizabeth Toohey accepted David McAllister’s invitation to become a Ballet Mistress and Repetiteur of The Australian Ballet, a vocation near and dear to heart. Earlier this year Elizabeth joined The Friends Chairperson Greg Khoury, to talk about her role in nurturing the company’s dancers, as well as details on her long standing friendship with former Artistic Director David McAllister AC.
Click below to listen.