The Nutcracker Dress Rehearsal

The Nutcracker Dress Rehearsal

The final dress rehearsal for The Australian Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, the ultimate Christmas Ballet in its most enchanting version.

There’s nothing like a traditional Nutcracker to get you in the mood for the festive season. And there’s no traditional Nutcracker as magical as Peter Wright’s.

The artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet has created a gold-standard production of this beloved party piece, remaining faithful to the feel of the 19th-century original. Tchaikovsky’s last great score for ballet, with its lively motifs and bewitching melodies, draws us into the story of Clara, a young ballet student celebrating with her family on Christmas Eve. When the clock strikes twelve, we enter the realm of dream … and Clara is whisked to the Land of Sweets in the arms of her Nutcracker Prince.

Veteran designer John F Macfarlane exquisitely evokes the world of this picture-perfect ballet: whirling snowflakes, crackling fires, band-box soldiers, a Christmas tree that grows until it brushes the ceiling and a Sugar Plum Fairy in luscious candy-floss pink.

With the holidays around the corner, there’s no better way than The Nutcracker to rediscover the childlike joys of the season, or to create your own family tradition.

Tickets on sale from Monday 23 September.

If you do not wish to book tickets online, please download our booking form here and return to the FAB office by email or post.

BOOK TICKETS NOW

Sylvia Dress Rehearsal + Pre-Performance Talk

Sylvia Dress Rehearsal + Pre-Performance Talk

The final dress rehearsal for the Australian premiere of The Australian Ballet’s production of Sylvia, Stanton Welch’s twist on a 150 year old love story, featuring a free pre-performance talk with sculptor Linda Klarfeld.

The story of Sylvia – an arrow wielding nymph who scorns love, falls in love, outwits her abductor and wins through to happiness – first became a ballet in Paris over 150 years ago. Stanton Welch’s new production revolves around three intertwining loves combined with the delightful Delibres score and features a striking new design by Jerome Kaplan and Wendell K Harrington, the creative dream team behind The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella.

Join The Friends for a free pre-performance talk from Linda Klarfeld in the Northern Foyer of the Opera House. Linda will talk about the artistic process of producing her ‘Ballet Collection’ bronze sculptures and the technical input she received from David McAllister as two dancers demonstrate the poses.

Tickets on sale from Monday 26 August.

If you do not wish to book tickets online, please download our booking form here and return to the FAB office by email or post.

BOOK TICKETS NOW

Australian Ballet launches 2020 Season

Australian Ballet launches 2020 Season

The launch of the 2020 Season has formed a clear promise from The Australian Ballet; a promise from the company to transform and transcend any creative or artistic boundaries in next year’s season. The departure of much-loved Artistic Director David McAllister has resulted in the creation of an exciting season that pays homage to his dedication to continuously push and innovate The Australian Ballet over the past two decades. In a fitting manner, the theme of the 2020 Season has been named “Limitless Possibilities,” with the company promising to look within and push themselves to a realm “where the possibilities are endless.”

 

The Happy Prince

Photography Justin Ridler

Headlining our 2020 Season is Graeme Murphy and Kim Carpenter’s imaginative new ballet, The Happy Prince, inspired by the classic Oscar Wilde tale of the same name. This colourful celebration of humanity with a modernised Aussie flair sends a message of kindness to all ages, a message decorated within Murphy’s innovative choreography. This all-Australian world premiere debuts an original score from the renowned composer Christopher Gordon, who has had great successes on his past projects, such as his composing of the score to the film Mao’s Last Dancer. The debut of this ballet has placed our very own Australian Ballet at the world’s centre stage, and we can promise that all eyes will be on our Opera House next summer.

 

Volt

Photography Justin Ridler

The Company will be broadcasting their own innovative and artistic voice with Volt. This program features two works from the visionary Wayne McGregor and a new piece from The Australian Ballet’s Alice Topp. McGregor has built his reputation for experimentation and distinct artistry over the past decade, and continues to push all preconceived notions of how dance should be. Alice Topp, recent recipient of the Helpmann Award for her work in Aurum last year, will present her new work, Logos, a co-commission by Studio Wayne McGregor, The Australian Ballet and Dance@The Grange. Topp’s involvement will ensure Volt will embody her innovative and artistic voice, which combined with McGregor’s Chroma and DYAD, will see Volt light up a new style of expression. This dynamic duo is leaning over the edge to a new era of cunning change, promising us a performance for the books.

Anna Karenina

Photography Justin Ridler

An ambitious crossover of cinematic drama and the poise of ballet. The 2020 Season welcomes Anna Karenina, an epic tragedy of a woman who follows her heart and desires into her demise. The performance flaunts every asset of the current Australian Ballet, with exquisite costumes, dramatic staging, stellar technique but, the impact of the beautiful story cannot be underestimated.The strict, high society of Imperial Russia looks down upon a woman who follows love, thus, Anna is heartlessly excluded as she desperately tries to escape an empty marriage, with her only respite being in a fiery affair with a handsome young officer, Vronsky. Former principal dancer of Bolshoi Ballet and San Francisco Ballet Yuri Possokhov takes a seat in the choreographer’s chair to reinvent Tolstoy’s immortal novel. Adding to the drama of the spectacle, the performance will also feature a mezzo soprano singing live on stage. The performance combines elements that have not yet been related on our stage, perfectly forming a gripping story of agony and hope.

Molto

Photography Justin Ridler

The Australian Ballet sets the stage for a vividly light and dramatic story of Molto next season, focusing on the bright, passionate and chaotic elements of the art form. Molto offers three works, two by The Australian Ballet resident choreographers Stephen Baynes and Tim Harbour and one by Frederick Ashton. Ashton, a giant of 20th Century dance, creates a playful story of love in A Month in the Country, where Natalia seeks excitement outside of her boring marriage, encouraging the advances of an older admirer. Upon engaging, she realises her true desires are directed towards her son’s tutor, but this last pursuit is not void of competition. Chopin’s sounds and Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs set the mood for the eloquent pas de deux, framed by all the show’s beautiful elements partnering in harmony. The two works that follow consequentially are created under the keen eye of our two resident choreographers, Baynes and Harbour. Harbour’s Squander in Glory is a fast and sharp movement piece for 14 dancers, with Kelvin Ho’s elusive mirrored set creating an eye-tricking backdrop for the piece. The final act, and the namesake of the ballet, Baynes’ Molto Vivace, is a light-hearted frolic of flirting and manners, before the performance morphs into a mayhem of colour. The flavourful performance of complex emotions has brought a transformed tradition into a modern era.

 

Harlequinade

Photography Justin Ridler

The Season finishes with a bright stroke of colour in Harlequinade, a comedic peformance with commedia dell’arte characters who stylistically express themselves through steps of ballet. 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. In a extravagant spectacle of movement and colour, Harlequin aims to win Columbine’s hand through love and magic. In this Melbourne-exclusive season, Harlequinade will charm its viewers and is set to return to it’s former popularity from before the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Sylvia opens in Melbourne

Sylvia opens in Melbourne

Opening in Melbourne over the weekend, it looks like The Australian Ballet’s production of Stanton Welch’s Sylvia is capturing hearts.

‘Welch captures the style of a romantic ballet while maintaining a sense of modernity. This results in a feast of utterly bewitching shapes and movement from start to finish… Sylvia achieves everything it sets out to do; it is a joyous production that showcases exhilarating choreography and the exceptional talent of The Australian Ballet
– Jenna Schroder for ArtsHub

‘Sylvia is a wonderfully successful synthesis of choreography, music, lighting, projection, set design and costuming.’
– Susan Bendall for Dance Australia

If the reviews are anything to go by, it looks like we are in for an absolute treat when Sylvia make its way to Sydney in November. Tickets for the dress rehearsal on 7 November are available here.

Main image Simon Schluter

Sylvia in Rehearsal

Sylvia in Rehearsal

With tickets for the Dress Rehearsal of Sylvia now on sale, here are some behind the scenes shots of The Australian Ballet dancers getting ready to bring Stanton Welch’s new production to Sydney. Click here to book your tickets

Photography Kate Longley