Register below if you are interested in attending the dress rehearsal of Harlequinade to ensure your spot on the waitlist.
After his century-long sleep, the irrepressible Harlequin is wide awake and ready to charm ballet lovers of all ages.
The 19th-century choreographer Marius Petipa made classical ballet’s most enduring works, including Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi Ballet and artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, has immersed himself in the original notation of Petipa’s oeuvre, producing meticulously researched revivals. His latest is the 1900 ballet Harlequinade, a lively romp based on commedia dell’arte.
Choreography Marius Petipa
Staging and additional choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Assisted by Tatiana Ratmansky
Music Riccardo Drigo
Scenery and costume designs Robert Perdziola inspired by Orest Allegri and Ivan Vsevolozhsky
Lighting design Brad Fields
With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australian Orchestra
Harlequinade is a co-production of American Ballet Theatre and The Australian Ballet.
Register below if you are interested in attending the dress rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet to ensure your spot on the waitlist.
John Cranko’s epic version of Shakespeare’s most heart-rending love story returns to The Australian Ballet.
An artist who effortlessly fused dance and drama, John Cranko richly evokes the grandeur of the Capulets’ ball, the fierce clashes of the rival families and the brief, luminous flare of young love. His Romeo and Juliet premiered in 1962, the year The Australian Ballet was founded, and generations of dancers have grown up with the production and gone on to shine in its many dream roles.
Despite meddling from Stalin’s officials and an initial rebellion from the Bolshoi Ballet’s dancers (who pronounced the music ‘undanceable’), Prokofiev’s score has proven itself as immortal as Shakespeare’s play. As clearly as words could, the music lays out the progress of the story, evoking swordplay, ecstasy, murder and the looming approach of the lovers’ fate.
Jürgen Rose’s dramatically resonant design captures the pageantry of medieval Verona, contrasting the heavy splendour of the aristocratic elder generation with the billowing fabrics of the young lovers’ carefree abandon.
Choreography John Cranko
Music Sergei Prokofiev
Staged by Reid Anderson
Costume and set design Jürgen Rose
Lighting design Jon Buswell
With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Orchestra
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
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New York Dialects
The final dress rehearsal for New York Dialects, The Australian Ballet’s return to the stage in 2021.
This triple bill is David Hallberg’s first program as Artistic Director and features two revered classics from George Balanchine, the great game-changer of ballet, with a brand-new creation from a 21st-century innovator.
Balanchine’s deeply rooted knowledge of Russian classicism grounded his inspired deviations from it, which galvanised modern dance. Serenade, considered one of the greatest works of the 20th century, was the first work he made on American dancers. The poetry of women in long ice-blue tutus moving in unison to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C has a simplicity and purity still breathtaking today.
The Four Temperaments
If Serenade is Balanchine at his most lyrical, The Four Temperaments is the epitome of his stark neo-classical style: dancers in black and white leotards and tights performing stripped-back ballet steps skewed in unexpected directions. The score, which Balanchine commissioned from Paul Hindemith, was inspired by the medieval notion that four ‘humours’ govern personality type; it is both sparse and luscious as it explores each of those temperaments.
Pam Tanowitz, from a contemporary dance background, has created work for major ballet companies, including New York City Ballet and The Royal Ballet, as well as for the hallowed modern-dance companies of Martha Graham and Paul Taylor. She will bring her vision for ensemble choreography and her fresh approach to gender roles to a work using the male dancers of The Australian Ballet. The Pulitzer-prize winning composer Caroline Shaw will extend her concerto Watermark as a partner to Tanowitz’s exciting creative vision.
Tickets on sale from Thursday 4 March. For more information, please click here
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