Paris Opera Ballet join The Australian Ballet’s gala line-up!
The Australian Ballet are delighted to announce even more sparkling international guest artists for its 50th anniversary gala, which opens on October 31 at Arts Centre Melbourne for five performances only. The company’s actual 50th birthday is on Friday 2 November.
The world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet will be joining in the birthday celebrations, sending Principal Artist Dorothée Gilbert and Stéphane Bullion to dance the dynamic Don Quixote pas de deux.
Also on the bill is San Francisco Ballet Principal Artist Damian Smith. Born in New South Wales with Indigenous heritage, Smith joined San Francisco Ballet in 1996 and became a principal artist in 2001. He will partner The Australian Ballet’s Amber Scott in Christopher Wheeldon’s heartbreaking After the Rain©.
The third guest announcement is American Ballet Theatre Principal Artist Julie Kent. She was promoted to principal artist in 1993 and in 2000 won the Prix Benois de la Danse, a prize awarded to the best dancer in the world by an international panel, an award also bestowed on her ABT colleague and fellow gala guest David Hallberg. Kent will dance the bedroom pas de deux from Manon with The Australian Ballet’s Adam Bull.
Joining these beautiful artists on the bill will be dancers from some of the world’s top dance companies, including Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, The Tokyo Ballet and National Ballet of China.
A special post-performance party will be held in honour of the company’s actual birthday on November 2. This event will take place in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Great Hall. Tickets are available for purchase to audiences who attend any of the five gala performances.
The gala has been generously supported by a $400,000 donation from the Joan and Peter Clemenger Trust.
The artistic director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, said the gala would be an unforgettable season of world-class ballet. “It’s an incredible line-up we’ve assembled from all over the world; we’re thrilled to have artists from Paris Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi, American Ballet Theatre … the list goes on! It’s the best 50th birthday present we could have, and it’s our gift back to Australian audiences who will be blown away by this once-in-a-lifetime season of ballet.”
The Australian Ballet will perform Harald Lander’s Etudes, last staged by the company in 2001. A homage to the humble daily act of class, the work builds as the entire ensemble of dancers perfect their technique and dazzle with their unity of purpose. A stark yet striking work in a palette of black and white, this work impresses with its simple façade masking technically demanding choreography.
The festivities continue offstage and throughout the birthday weekend, with the free Ballet & Fashion exhibition opening on November 3 at the NGV.
It’s been 50 years of beauty and ballet – don’t miss this special moment from The Australian Ballet.
Tickets available now through the Australian Ballet’s website or 1300 369 741.
Company The Australian Ballet
Performed by Artists of The Australian Ballet
Choreography Harald Lander
Music Knudåge Riisager (after music by Carl Czerny)
Company American Ballet Theatre / Bolshoi Ballet
Performed by David Hallberg
Work Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux [please note Balanchine spelling]
Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music Piotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky
Company American Ballet Theatre
Performed by Julie Kent
Work Manon excerpt
Choreography Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Music Jules Massenet
Company National Ballet of China
Performed by Zhu Yan and Sun Ruichen
Work Giselle excerpt
Music Adolphe Adam
Company Paris Opera Ballet
Performed by Dorothée Gilbert and Stéphane Bullion
Work Don Quixote excerpt
Choreography Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa
Music Ludwig Minkus orchestrated by John Lanchbery
Company The Tokyo Ballet
Performed by Mizuka Ueno and Kazuo Kimura
Work Carmen excerpt
Choreography Albert Alonso
Music Rodion Schedrin
Company San Francisco Ballet
Performed by Damian Smith
Work After the Rain© excerpt
Choreography Christopher Wheeldon
Music Arvo Pärt
Company Stuttgart Ballet
Performed by Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo
Work Little Monsters
Choreography Demis Volpi
Music Elvis Presley
The Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary international gala is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-China Council and the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
*Management reserves the right to alter such details of this season as may become necessary. Cast subject to change due to illness or any unavoidable cause.