Earlier this year FAB Member, Claire Bailey undertook the challenge of reading Anna Karenina in preparation for attending the now cancelled Sydney performances of Leo Tolstoy’s novel that became an epic ballet.
Many writers consider Anna Karenina the greatest work of literature ever. Tolstoy himself called it his first true novel. It is considered a complex book in eight parts, with more than a dozen major characters, spread over more than 800 pages!
The Friends of the Australian Ballet are deeply grateful and delighted to share this book review, prepared by avid reader and member of The Friends, Claire Bailey to entice and delight.
Anna Karenina – Book Review by Claire Bailey
Tolstoy’s tragic novel of Anna Karenina starts with the introduction of Anna’s relatives and their close friends. At first, I was confused as to why the author spent so much time on these other characters. However, as their stories progressed and entwined with Anna’s I grew attached to them and eager to see how their stories played out. Most compelling was the beautiful story of Levin. Levin is a sensitive character who battles self-confidence yet never truly gives up finding happiness.
When we are introduced to Anna we discover she is desperately unhappy in a loveless marriage and a life that does not reflect her true self. Her journey to find true love and happiness is brave and not without sacrifice with dire consequences. She soon finds herself torn between two choices: one that would lead her to a new life and the other closes the door on her past forever.
Perhaps the real heroine in the story is not Anna but her sister in-law Dolly. Dolly is a strong woman who has her own adversities. Dolly is instrumental in helping her family on their quest for love, happiness and finding inner peace.
Tolstoy’s story explores each character trying to find inner peace, and while some find it through love and forgiveness, others stories are far more tragic..
Have you recently read an inspiring book from the world of ballet? We welcome your feedback and reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 SITUATION.
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As 2019 draws to a close, we are looking to 2020 and are thrilled to be sharing The Australian Ballet’s Year of Limitless Possibilities with our Friends.
The launch of the 2020 Season has formed a clear promise from The Australian Ballet; a promise to transform and transcend any creative or artistic boundaries and we are happy to accompany you as we explore this transformative season. The season is an ode to the fantastic service of David McAllister, but also a confirmation that the company shows no sign of slowing down.
The Australian Ballet has grown immensely under David’s leadership, with the 2020 season featuring strong collaborations with international companies such as the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre in the performances of Anna Karenina and Harlequinade.
Anna Karenina pushes the traditional format for ballets, becoming an epic ballad of love, drama and loss. The company has pushed the envelope with modernized Hollywood-style costumes and mesmerizing choreography created by former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer, Yuri Possokhov.
Anna Karenina, photo Justin Ridler
In an all-exclusive Melbourne run, Harlequinade will bring plenty of colour and fun to our Australian stages in the 2020 season. This cheeky, bubbly ballet is a classic story of forbidden love, with a twist of mischief and magic as Harlequin fights with an enchanted slap stick for Columbine’s hand in marriage.
Harlequinade, photo Justin Ridler
Volt will have The Company broadcasting their innovation and artistic voice. Alongside two works from the visionary Wayne McGregor, this program features a new work from The Australian Ballet’s Alice Topp, who delighted us this year with the Helpmann Award-winning Aurum. McGregor and Topp will see Volt light up a new style of expression and push all notions of how dance should be to the edge.
Volt, photo Justin Ridler
Molto revives a trio of the most bold and adventurous performances from the last 50 years, satisfying all your needs and desires from a quick trip to the ballet. In a crash-course performance of recent greats, Molto celebrates the successes of the modern ballet world, sparking excitement for the future of dance.
Molto, photo Justin Ridler
David’s tenure as Artistic Director began by commissioning Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, and it seems fitting that The Happy Prince, Murphy’s new ballet, will open David’s final season in 2020. The international premiere of The Happy Prince has placed our Opera House at the center of global attention, proving that our company has once again, soared over our expectations in this year of Limitless Possibilities.
The Happy Prince, photo Justin Ridler
Like always, we will keep you updated with all details throughout the season. Join us in a pivotal year at The Australian Ballet, as we relish on our past successes and turn towards a bright future.