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.

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.

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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