First published on 7 Sep 2012. Updated on 3 Mar 2014.
Ballet, like fashion, is always moving forward, looking to the future while letting the past inform and inspire. It seems fitting then, that after a year of 50th anniversary celebrations, The Australian Ballet’s 2013 season ‘Masterpieces’ will display works that helped to shape the company into the nation’s leading ballet company and one of our brightest art organisations.
The year will begin with one of the company’s most popular works, Don Quixote. For those of you who are yet to experience a live performance (or indeed any performance) of classical ballet, this work is often described as a good introduction. Following this comes Vanguard, a mixed bill comprising of three works choreographed by ballet’s ‘game changers’.
It is this program that offers its audience the best look at the diversity of modern classical ballet. Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, choreographed in 1946, made a statement in ballet that had never been made before, it was one of strength and impersonality, an abstractedness that reflected mid-twentieth century post modernist thinking.
Kylián’s work Bella Figura is a work of immense beauty, with dancers appearing topless and moving almost hypnotically in what Kylián described as "a journey in time, light and space." The final work in this program is McGregor’s Dyad 1929. The piece was created on The Australian Ballet’s dancers in 2009. McGregor’s work needs little introduction. It is simply exhilarating, described by the New York Times in 2008 as “the most exciting work in ballet on the planet.”
Later in the year, the company revives Graeme Murphy’s internationally praised version of Swan Lake for a Melbourne-only season. The company will also perform the newer, but more traditional version of Swan Lake created for the company in 2012 by the company’s resident choreographer Stephen Baynes.'
Another mixed bill comprising of La Sylphide, a romantic fairytale that was the first ballet to be choreographed with the women en pointe, and Paquita, a bravura ballet displaying the strength of the entire company, will follow.
Perhaps the biggest drawing card for next year’s season is the promise of a new Cinderella by arguably the greatest living narrative ballet choreographer Alexei Ratmansky.
2013 will also see the return of the Sydney season Bodytorque, a program that allows the dancers of the company to try their hand at choreography. Perhaps the return of Bodytorque symbolises that while 2013 will be a year of looking back at the company’s new and old ‘masterpieces’, it will also be a year of looking forward to the tantalising promise of the next great work.
For more information on performances, dates, and ticket prices visit Australian Ballet.
Sign up to our monthly arts newsletter