5 Reasons to See Anna Karenina

5 Reasons to See Anna Karenina

With Anna Karenina finally open in Melbourne and soon due to arrive in Sydney, here are five reasons why you need to see this not to be missed co-production from The Australian Ballet and Joffrey Ballet.

PASSION TO MOVE YOU

The story of Anna, whose life-destroying desire for the handsome and faithless Vronsky is palpable through a series of rapturous pas de deux.

Soloist Imogen Chapman who is dancing the role of Anna says “You really get taken on that journey with Anna and Vronsky. I feel like audiences will really relate to that, and go on this journey with the characters,”

 

Robyn Hendricks and Callum Linnane, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet

 

GLAMOUR AND GRANDEUR

The costumes by veteran theatre designer Tom Pye capture the elegance of Imperial Russian society with luxurious fabrics and jewel tones.

 

A BALLET LIKE A MOVIE

Chicago’s PBS station, WWTW, called Possokhov’s Anna Karenina “A magnificent classical ballet in the guise of a great work of modern cinema.” Pye’s opulent yet minimal sets and projections by Finn Ross (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) – which include footage of the dancers taken backstage in real time – conjure ballrooms, bedrooms, a race track and that fateful train station, lending a filmic scale and atmosphere to this immersive piece of theatre.

Robyn Hendricks and Callum Linnane, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet

 

THE MUSIC

Teaming up with the Joffrey Ballet to co-produce Anna Karenina meant that the ballet could have specially commissioned music by multi-award-winning composer Ilya Demutsky. Inspired by Tolstoy, Demutsky has created a sweeping, textured score with all the scale and grandeur of his countrymen Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. A mezzo soprano will appear at key moments to amplify Anna’s emotion through song.

 

THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME

A very human heroine, Anna holds our sympathy even as she flounders into disaster. She adores, she suffers, she is torn between her life and the love of her life – no wonder actors from Greta Garbo to Vivien Leigh to Keira Knightly have been attracted to the role. We can’t wait to see our brilliant dancers embody Anna.

 

Robyn Hendricks as Anna, photo Jeff Busby, courtesy of The Australian Ballet

 

Tickets for final dress rehearsal performance of Anna Karenina on Monday 4 April at the Sydney Opera House are available now. Click here to secure yours.

New York Dialects | Cast List

New York Dialects | Cast List

New York Dialects Final Dress Rehearsal | Monday 5 April | Cast List

SERENADE
Amber Scott  Ako Kondo  Nicola Curry

Ty King-Wall  Jarryd Madden

Yuumi Yamada  Corey Herbert  Imogen Chapman  Jill Ogai

Artists of The Australian Ballet

WATERMARK 
Shaun Andrews
Nathan Brook
Daniel Bryne
Imogen Chapman
Timothy Coleman
Adam Elmes
Rohan Furnell
Thomas Gannon
Benjamin Garrett
Drew Hedditch
Alain Juelg
Brodie James
Callum Linnane
Luke Marchant
Coco Mathieson
George-Murray Nightingale
Jill Ogai
Lucien Xu

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Theme
Jacqueline Clark and Luke Marchant

Ingrid Gow and Joseph Romancewicz

Robyn Hendricks and Adam Bull

First Variation: Melancholic
Chengwu Guo
Yuumi Yamada  Aya Watanabe
Jasmin Durham  Lisa Craig  Sophie Morgan  Evie Ferris

Second Variation: Sanguinic
Benedicte Bemet and Brett Chynoweth
Lilla Harvery  Lilly Maskery  Karina Arimura  Montana Rubin

Third Variation: Phlegmatic
Callum Linnane
Larissa Kiyoto-Ward  Belle Urwin Katherine Sonnekus  Sara Andrlon

Fourth Variation: Choleric
Amy Harris

With artists of The Australian Ballet

5 Reasons to see New York Dialects

5 Reasons to see New York Dialects

With New York Dialects now on sale here are 5 reasons why you should be buying tickets to The Australian Ballet’s 2021 return to the Sydney Opera House.

#1 – First performance back in Sydney 


New York Dialects will be the Ballet’s first season in Sydney in over a year and a half! The last time The Australian Ballet was in town was December 2019 with perennial favourite The Nutcracker: The Story of Clara. After so long away from the city, it is going to be truly extraordinary to be watching the dancers take to the stage at the Opera House. 

#2 – David Hallberg’s first program as Artist Director

As well as being the Company’s first performance back in Sydney, New York Dialects will also be the city’s first introduction to David Hallberg as Artistic Director.

This triple bill is his first program to be staged in Sydney and will set out his vision for the future of the Company. New York Dialects also features David Hallberg’s first commissioned work for The Australian Ballet – Pam Tanowitz’s New Work. 

#3 Pam Tanowitz 

Pam Tanowitz is a critically acclaimed New York choreographer. She has created work for The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Pam’s work is known for its abstract treatment of classical and contemporary movement ideas and structures as she encourages the viewer to see through to the heart of dance.

As David Hallberg says,‘she is one of our generation’s most intelligent creators: focused, insightful and original, just as Balachine was.’ 

#4 The Company 

After being off the stage for 11 months, New York Dialects is a program that will let the all the dancers of the Company shine. With the beauty and elegance of the female corps de ballet in Balanchine’s Serenade perfectly complimenting Tanowitz’s New Work which has been created specifically for the male dancers of the Company.   

 

#5 – The music 

New York Dialects is a program for musiclovers. The simplicity and purity of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C will open the program. While Paul Hindemith’s composition for The Four Temperaments perfectly explores the moods Balanchine wanted to affect, the Watermark concerto from Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw extends Tanowitz’s New Work.

Tickets for The Friends of The Australian Ballet New York Dialects Dress Rehearsal are on sale now

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.

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