AN EVENING WITH DAVID McALLISTER AND SPECIAL GUESTS
In recognition of your ongoing support of The Friends of The Australian Ballet we invite you and your household to join us for a very special virtual evening celebrating The Australian Ballet’s Don Quixote choreographed by Rudolph Nureyev.
In an online event curated especially for our philanthropic community, you will be treated to a live in-conversation between The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister and Marilyn Rowe who performed the roles of the Street Dancer and the Queen of the Dryads in the 1973 film also starring Rudolph Nureyev and Robert Helpmann.
You will then be invited to view a screening of Don Quixote via The Australian Ballet’s Ballet TV.
Thursday 17 September
7pm Discussion and Q&A
David McAllister in conversation with Marilyn Rowe, introduced by Kenneth Watkins, Philanthropy Director
7.45pm Don Quixote
RSVP by Tuesday 15 September
Event access details will be provided following RSVP.
David McAllister with a portrait of his mother, Olive. Photo Jake Terry, stylist Pip Moroney, courtesy Vogue Australia
Beyond the Ballet
David McAllister was interviewed on ABC Radio’s Evenings program by Christine Anu, just a couple of weeks after The Ballet, and the rest of Australia, went into lockdown. Alongside some sneaky hints at what The Australian Ballet might have in store once they return to our stages, David details how Company members are keeping fit at home and how much he is currently enjoying dancing in his lounge room.
David reflects on the impact of dance on his life, his legacy and his plans for life after The Australian Ballet. He even reveals to Christine his favourite dance move.
Listen to the conversation below.
Want more of David? Listen to his conversation with the ABC’s Richard Fidler here.
We are delighted to share the very exciting news that The Australian Ballet has launched ‘Ballet TV’. We encourage you all to bask in the superb free digital season that will beam premium-quality productions right to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Ballet is powerful magic. It can draw you out of your lounge room and into forests, castles and starry skies. Escape the everyday and feel the freedom and exhilaration of unbridled leaps and lifts.
The Sleeping Beauty by The Australian Ballet is available to watch until 5pm Friday 17 April. Each ballet will be available free of charge for two weeks*. Click here to begin watching.
Free cinema-quality digital season brings full-length performances to Australians at home:
The Sleeping Beauty (David McAllister)
Sun 5 April – Fri 17 April
Cinderella (Alexei Ratmansky)
Fri 17 April – Fri 1 May
Romeo & Juliet (Graeme Murphy)
Fri 1 May – Fri 15 May
With many more to be announced …
David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty is a reawakened classic that will sweep you off your feet, from the hand-sewn, Swarovski-embroidered tutus, to the grandiose ballrooms and forests skittering with fairies and princesses, that seem to float in fast-paced intricate movements.
Artists of The Australian Ballet, photography Daniel Boud
In 2017 the Friends of the Australian Ballet NSW were appointed the official custodians of The Lilac Fairy character. This appointment came about thanks to your generous ongoing support of our organisation – through donations, fundraising and your pure love of ballet. We are delighted that our valued members can now share in some ‘Lilac Fairy magic’ in their own homes with ‘Ballet TV’.
Amber Scott as the Lilac Fairy, photography Justin Ridley
Watch your lounge room melt away as magical forests, royal castles and country villages construct themselves around you. Jeté alongside forest nymphs and cheeky fairies as they protect you from evil spirits and wicked step-parents. And the best part is, there’s no need to rush home at midnight!
As we all have heard by now, Mr. David Hallberg will be succeeding David McAllister as Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet in 2021. Hallberg has had a long and intimate relationship with the company, so it comes as no surprise that we are thrilled to hear that The Ballet will be left in such capable hands!
However, when it comes down to it, as Hallberg made his name across the pond in the US, some of our members may need a quick crash course on all things Hallberg!
“I am thrilled for the future of this company, a company that inspires me with its level of excellence and global standard. I look forward to using the experience I’ve garnered over my 20-year career around the world and funnelling it into the culture of The Australian Ballet. The future looks very bright for this world class company.” ~ David Hallberg
How did Hallberg rise up?
Inspired to dance by a Fred Astaire film in his childhood, Hallberg joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2000, joining the corps de ballet in 2001. His talent was clearly noted as within five years he was promoted to Principal Artist. From this starting point, he became a resident guest artist with an eclectic mix of countries, from the Paris Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and of course, The Australian Ballet. In 2011, he became the first American Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. He is also a Principal Guest Artist with both the Australian Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.
Why The Australian Ballet?
Hallberg has had a long history with The Australian Ballet throughout his career, including a long period of residence as he recovered for two years from injury. He has been a regular guest artist with the Australian Ballet for over 10 years and appreciates the sense of inclusivity he feels when he returns to Australia.
Since the beginning, he has always aspired to direct a company, however, he reported to the NY Times that he has “felt satiated on a certain level as a dancer,” and is ready to transition forward with a company he is deeply connected with.
Where will he take our company?
The big question. From McAllister, we have seen an era of stability and international growth, but where to from now? Hallberg reports he will be very focused on curating innovative ideas and nurturing a positive environment for dancer growth and training. He thrives on spectating different cultures and training regimes, so we have no doubt he will transform our company to new levels of ability.
Although his programming intentions are kept securely under lock and key, Hallberg has brainstormed certain names and choreographers he thinks should visit and debut down-under. I think we can expect that under his directorship, The Australian Ballet will be increasingly thrusted into the limelight of the global ballet arena.
However, the beauty of the Ballet is that it is not made up by any one person. It is a team, a Company, and Hallberg reported to the New York times that “Come January 2021, it won’t be about me anymore; it will be about this institution and its dancers.”
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 Kareninapushes 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.