Anna Karenina Dress Rehearsal

Anna Karenina Dress Rehearsal

Anna Karenina Dress Rehearsal
Wednesday 29 April | 7pm
Sydney Opera House

Love doesn’t play by the rules

Leo Tolstoy’s immortal novel becomes an epic ballet. Cinematic staging, Hollywood-worthy costumes and Yuri Possokhov’s mesmerising choreography illuminate the tragedy of Anna Karenina, whose desire brings about her ruin.

In the high society of Imperial Russia, a woman must not follow her heart. When Anna meets Vronsky, a handsome young officer, the instant connection between them flames into an affair – with disastrous consequences. Her husband, her relations and her social circle judge Anna ruthlessly, and when Vronsky’s passion cools she takes desperate action.

Yuri Possokhov, formerly a principal dancer with Bolshoi Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, has choreographed works on major companies around the world. His Anna Karenina, faithful to Tolstoy’s novel, features Finn Ross’ projections (including real-time film of the dancers taken during the performance) and Tom Pye’s set and costume designs, which conjure the opulence of the era with modern style. The specially commissioned orchestral score by Ilya Demutsky gestures towards the rich grandeur of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, and includes a mezzo soprano singing live on stage.

The agonies and ecstasies of Anna’s turbulent life are powerfully evoked in the centrepiece of our 2020 season.

Approximately 130 minutes with 1 interval

Choreography Yuri Possokhov
Composer Ilya Demutsky
Libretto Valeriy Pecheykin based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Costume and set design Tom Pye
Lighting design David Finn
Projection design Finn Ross

With Opera Australia Orchestra

Anna Karenina is a co-production of Joffrey Ballet and The Australian Ballet.

The Australian Ballet’s seasons of Anna Karenina are generously supported by The K.M. Christiensen & A.E. Bond Bequest and the Barry Kay Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Tickets on sale Monday 2 March


Meet the New Dancers 2020

Meet the New Dancers 2020

Meet the New Dancers 2020
Tuesday 31 March | 6.30 for 7pm start
Royal Automobile Club of Australia

Join the Friends of The Australian Ballet together with Fiona Tonkin to Meet the New Dancers of The Australian Ballet 2020!

This year we are thrilled that nine dancers will be joining the Company, all graduates from The Australian Ballet School, including Belle Urwin, recipient of The Friends of The Australian Ballet 2019 Scholarship to The Australian Ballet School.

Our future stars will be presented with a gift from Friends of The Australian Ballet in recognition of their commencement with the company. For each new Company Member, The Friends will also be donating $500 to The Australian Ballet’s Pointe Shoe Fund.

Meet the New Dancers is proudly supported by Bloch, Showface and Mr Rebell Barnes.

Tickets on sale 10am Monday 3 February


Friends in Conversation – Libby Christie

Friends in Conversation – Libby Christie

We are excited to introduce Friends in Conversation, a series of talks for 2020, our first being with Libby Christie, Executive Director of The Australian Ballet.

Libby will provide insight into the funding, costs, logistics and operations of how the Company, along with its strategic aspirations, providing you with a true behind-the-scenes experience of The Australian Ballet.

About Libby
Libby was appointed as Executive Director of The Australian Ballet in 2013.  Prior to this appointment she had eleven years’ experience in Australia’s arts sector, including with the Australian Government’s arts funding and advocacy body, the Australia Council for the Arts (2009 – 2013) as acting CEO and Executive Director of Arts Funding, and as the Managing Director of the Sydney Symphony (2003 – 2009).  Before joining the arts sector, Libby held senior national and international executive roles in the technology and telecommunications sector in companies including Optus, Telstra, TMP Worldwide and Computer Power Group.  She has also worked in Australia’s tertiary education sector in the field of adult education.

Libby has current and prior experience as a non-executive director on not for profit and for profit boards.  She is a graduate of Sydney University and the University of Canberra and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Join us to hear Libby Christie provide a rare behind the scenes glimpse of the operations and logistics of The Australian Ballet.


How does a moment last forever? Our Pre-Performance Sylvia Talk with Sculptor Linda Klarfeld.

How does a moment last forever? Our Pre-Performance Sylvia Talk with Sculptor Linda Klarfeld.

As audience members, we usually gawk at a dancer’s consecutive turns and flying leaps, but from the perspective of sculptor Linda Klarfeld, it is the intricate and fast-moving positions of a dancer that she wishes to immortalise in bronze. Before our Sylvia Dress Rehearsal performance, we were honoured to have Linda Klarfield, a celebrated Australian sculptor to talk about how she intertwined her artistic gifts and her admiration of ballet in her 6 dance-inspired bronze sculptures. In this talk, her sculptures were brought to life by two talented young students from Allegria Dance Studio.

Her talk detailed her tedious process of sculpting and modelling, of her obsessive observation with the placing of an index finger, or the positioning of a hip bone. Her artworks capture positions that are impossible to hold, as Linda described that her bronze sculptures will stay ‘en pointe’ for 2000 years. As she was never a professional dancer, she leaned on the technical eye of David McAllister and Robert Albert to critique and examine her plasticine sculptures before casting them in rubber/plaster moulds. Using these moulds, she would cast the sculptures in wax and detail any imperfections. At one point, she recalled she had been so obsessive in perfecting the detailing of the hands and materials, she had overlooked that she had cast a dancer with (literally) two left feet. After creating a ceramic mould with the wax sculptures, she would melt out the wax and pour in the bronze.

Bronze is characterized by permanence and strength; hence, Linda relies on it to hold impossible poses with impeccable balance. In her statue of the pas de deux from Giselle, she highlights how her greatest challenge was locating the position’s centre of gravity. In this statue, the ballerina is not yet at the top of her lift, and Linda explains that she located the centre of gravity as being slightly off-centre, as the two dancers pull up and away from each other to maintain balance. We have all seen these lifts in arabesque, with the risen leg stretching through a 90-degree angle, however, the eye always misses the moments before the picture. Linda’s sculptures make that moment tangible to help incite a feeling of excitement about what is about to happen, to bring the sculptures to life in what feels like a real-life pas de deux.


This whole process would take around 6 months for every sculpture, however, in every finished result, you can clearly see the admiration and dedication Linda has for her dancers and her art. We thank her for sharing her unique insight into the world of sculpting and ballet with our members, and commend her on her beautiful artworks.


Sculptor Linda Klarfeld


All photos were taken by Lexy Potts.

Spartacus – The men behind the  legend

Spartacus – The men behind the legend

The Friends Annual Champagne High Tea

Sunday 26 August –The Ivy Ballroom

The Friends of the Australian Ballet invite you explore the legend that is SPARTACUS!

Our annual High Tea is the event of the year not to be missed! It’s a time to dress up, get a group together and celebrate ballet. This year as always, our guest of honor is Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet – David McAllister AM. David will bejoined on stage by Principal Dancer in the role of Spartacus – Kevin Jackson and in the role of the Friends sponsored Character Crassus – Principal Dancer Ty King-Wall who will take us behind the curtain of this fantastic, new production.

One of the things that makes this event so special is the invited former dancers of The Australian Ballet living in NSW and you can honor them by “Sponsoring a Dancer” to sit at your table. Sponsoring a dancer also allows you VIP access to an exclusive pre-function Meet and Greet with David, Kevin and Ty along with all the former dancers.

The high tea will also debut the world premiere of a new piece by Choreographic sensation Lucas Jervies currently choreographing Spartacus for The Australian Ballet. The piece entitled POWERHOUSE will was created on the artists of the Sydney City Youth Ballet,under the Artistic Director of Lucinda Dunn OAM. Lucinda took over the direction of the Sydney City Youth Ballet upon her retirement as from The Australian Ballet as the longest serving Principal Ballerina.

This work POWERHOUSE, named after the score of the same name by great Australian Composer Graeme Kohne, will premiere at the up and coming season of TOGETHER LIVE 2018 and performed to live music by the Sydney Youth Orchestra Philharmonic, at The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood on 13 & 14 September 2018.

Adult Members $80.00
Pensioner Members $70.00
Student/Youth $70.00
Non-Member $90.00
Sponsor a Dancer $80.00
Sponsor David McAllister AM $200 (available only through calling FAB office on 9252 7322)

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