Counterpointe Dress Rehearsal
BALLET AS PRISTINE TRADITION AND CONTEMPORARY FORCE
The final dress rehearsal for Counterpointe, a double bill of the elegant 19th-century classic Raymonda with the vigour and attack of Artifact Suite by William Forsythe, who stretches classical forms into original modernity, will be on Monday 26 April, 7pm at Sydney Opera House. Audiences will also enjoy a performance of George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, a brief but thrilling divertissement.
The American choreographer William Forsythe revolutionised the European dance scene, reimagining classical technique and challenging his dancers with extended shapes. Devotees of his In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, shown most recently as part of The Austrlaian Ballet’s Vitesse program, will relish experiencing the ensemble work that defined his groundbreaking style: clarified speed, extensions of form and dynamically fast weight changes. Bach’s sublime Chaconne for solo violin is contrasted to the repetitive urgency of piano pieces by composer Eva Crossman-Hecht.
Raymonda (Act III)
The third act of Marius Petipa’s Raymonda depicts the wedding of the hero and heroine. As in his Sleeping Beauty and Paquita, Petipa uses the celebration to create a sparkling display of classical technique, with Hungarian-inflected dances culminating in one of ballet’s most famous solos for a leading ballerina. This staging, based on the traditional Petipa choreography, will be David Hallberg’s first for The Australian Ballet.
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
In 1953, a piece of music Tchaikovsky composed for Swan Lake, thought lost, was discovered in the archives of the Bolshoi Ballet. The Russian choreographer George Balanchine gained permission to use the rediscovered music for this piece. Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, with its lyrical duet and delicate female variation, its spectacular jumps and fishdives, is a tribute to the era of Russian ballet but it also has the speed and attack, the giddying lifts and plunges that gave Balanchine’s choreography an edge of risk and modernity.
Tickets on sale from Thursday 25 March