In 2011 Christopher Wheeldon created sustained narrative with ongoing character development, with his new classic ballet “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” a full-length work in three acts, for the Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House in Bow Street, Covent Garden, London. I am forever grateful that The Australian Ballet has carefully re-created this amazing fast-paced spectacular ballet, using the best of the best Australian ballet dancers and some guest artists, and is now available for Sydney audiences for a very limited time, after first being seen by Melbourne audiences.
This is the must see ballet this decade, so much better to experience live on stage, rather than watching The Royal Ballet September 2011 dvd version.
THE DANCERS COMPANY ballet drew a crowd of first-timers at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) last weekend. The audience bustled excitedly with aspiring ballerinas, regular IPAC attendees, families, school groups and many first time ballet goers. It wasn’t just the audience either – for many of the cast members, this is their first touring performance.
THE DANCERS COMPANY is an annual show by The Australian Ballet that tours regional New South Wales and Victoria, starring guest artists and graduating students from The Australian Ballet School. This year, the show presents a classical triple-bill of intensely talented dancers that, either by incident or design, seem to be free of the prestige and sense of elitism that is often associated with traditional ballet. Continue reading The Dancer’s Company @ IPAC→
An alternative title for this programme might be ‘Three Ashton Masterpieces’. Here were three landmark works by the great British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton including the Australian Ballet premiere of ‘ Symphonic Variations’.
First on the bill was the elegant, sculptural and, at times, very demanding ‘Monotones 11’ for a trio of dancers in very revealing long sleeved white unitards and bejewelled caps. It was full of Ashton’s trademark line, shimmering simplicity and refined abstraction, – distilled cool, pure movement.
This was a long anticipated opening night– in the presence of the Prime Minister Mr Abbott– that will be long remembered. The Australian Ballet was in peak form and Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson delivered exceptional performances .
The performance is a revival of the 1986 Maina Gielgud version of GISELLE that has been in the Australian Ballet’s repertoire ever since. First performed in 1841 GISELLE is now regarded as one of the major Romantic ballets. The ballet tells a story of disguise, intrigue, young love, broken hearts and deception. Not forgetting the impact of the eerie, sinister Wilis who appear in Act 2-a group of supernatural women whose thing is to dance men to their deaths- determined on revenge. Continue reading The Australian Ballet in Giselle→
‘It gives me personally a lot of satisfaction to feel that my work helped introduce audiences to ballet and made them like it . So there is a piece of me in all the companies that have since sprung up.The work was not in vain. I have achieved something not just for myself but for the Art that I love and for the future generations of youngsters coming after me ‘, Irina Baronova.
Suitable for ages 10 and above we will get a fascinating, privileged insider’s look and exclusive access into the world of an elite dancer. We’ll observe morning class on stage – a daily ritual for all the dancers of The Australian Ballet – and this year, for the first time ever, we’ll sit in on private coaching as a principal dancer prepares for their role. Raw, beautiful and full of insights – this is a unique, behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to prepare for a performance. Don’t miss this special in-theatre experience .
Sydney Arts Guide is a key part of stage and film culture, and exists to celebrate the art of performance, in theatres and cinemas.
2014 was a year of amazing diversity, and our twenty accredited specialist reviewers, were all spoiled for choice in the quality of the live theatre performances to be experienced in the City of Sydney, and the suburbs of Sydney.
As the old adage goes, “live theatre is not dead theatre, as there is a different performance to be experienced every night”. Our team of professional reviewers, have each nominated their personal preferences for both theatre and cinema. A small number of movies were nominated out of the hundreds of cinema films that were seen during the last twelve months.
At the end of another outstanding year for the arts in Sydney, on Wednesday 31st December 2014, Sydney Arts Guide announced its 2014 awards in these Stage and Screen categories:-
The Australian Ballet’s latest classical offering is a double bill with works from the Romantic era, La Sylphide from 1836 and Paquita,1847. The “grand pas de deux” from Paquita opens the program with electric vibrancy. It is an exciting extract from the original full length work, with principal dancers Lana Jones and Kevin Jackson showcasing their extraordinary technical abilities. Jackson has a dynamic hold of the stage, with magnetic presence and a strapping physique that is undeniably exquisite. Jones’ confidence is spellbinding, and puts on a riveting performance that thrills with its sheer beauty.
In La Sylphide, the story of a Scottish farmer who falls in love with a forest spirit is brought to life with some of the most stunning set and lighting design seen on the Australian stage. The sense of ethereality they produce is seductive, and the fantasy the audience craves is magically rendered so that we are transported through time and space.
Vivienne Wong is memorable as the farmer’s fiancee, impressing with her dancing as well as acting abilities. Madeleine Eastoe is the Sylph, creating lines and movement that are delightful and almost supernatural in their delicacy and lightness, but the slightness of her frame does mean that she can at times, be obscured by the vastness of the production. Daniel Gaudiello as the farmer James is handsome and strong (physically and technically), and every bit the leading man of fairy tales but requires a small dose of artistic hubris to be even more compelling.
Modern lives are increasingly mundane. Technology encourages us to retreat and evolve into beings more and more insular and impassive. Witnessing the dancers of our national ballet company is a reminder of the human capacities at achieving unfathomable heights of beauty and athleticism. Like all great artists, they bring to us the great gift of inspiration that uplifts us from our daily lives; as we stop to smell the roses at the theatre, and realise the potential each ordinary day may hold.
The Australian Ballet’s LA SYLPHIDE is playing the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House until Monday November 25.
(This review was originally published in Suzy Wrong’s performing arts blog:- www.suzygoessee.com).