The Australian Ballet : Bodytorque.Muses: inspiring artists, captivating audiences

March 30, 2011

Ballet, Press Releases

two dancers in lycra

Dana Stephensen and Brett Simon. Photo by Paul Empson.

For immediate release Tuesday 29 March 2011   

Bodytorque.Muses: inspiring artists, captivating audiences

Exploring the muse through movement    

The Australian Ballet continues its search for the country’s next generation of choreographic talent
in 2011 with Bodytorque.Muses.The eighth installment of Bodytorque opens on
28 May at the Sydney Theatre.

The new season arrives with an intriguing twist on
the Bodytorque concept, exploring the relationship between artists and their muses.

The muse has always played an integral role in the art of dance. Sir Robert Helpmann found his in the mating rituals of lyrebirds for his masterpiece
The Display
; George Balanchine discovered his inspiration in the original myths of the muses
themselves in Apollo.

Principal artists Daniel Gaudiello and Kevin Jackson, alongside Corps de Ballet Member Alice Topp, are making their return to the Bodytorque stage.

Meanwhile, Coryphée Vivienne Wong is making
her choreographic debut and Lisa Wilson, an independent artist, completes the compelling line up.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, says the strong representation of female choreographers in this year’s program is a
promising trend.

“It’s often said that there are not enough women who choreograph for ballet and the Bodytorque program really challenges the status quo. It will be intriguing
to see how both genders explore the theme of muses. I think all of the choreographers will bring their own unique interpretation.”

This year’s five Bodytorque choreographers have been asked to search for their muse away from the obvious sources of inspiration such as music or a dancer.

The result promises to be an exhilarating program
of dance that draws inspiration from varied and imaginative sources, offering audiences a
fantastic collision of dance techniques.

The genesis for Bodytorque was in 2003 when Artistic Director David McAllister gathered together with artistic directors from across the globe to
discuss the most important issues facing the art form of ballet.

The consensus amongst them was that developing new works and choreographers in the classical
ballet technique was of prime importance.

In response to this McAllister created Bodytorque. Since then, audiences have been flocking to watch the boundaries of ballet being pushed to new limits.

In 2011 the Bodytorque legacy continues, delivering bold, modern dance – minus the safety net.

Previous Bodytorque programs:
2004 – Bodytorque.Women on Men
2005 – Bodytorque.Two
2006 – Bodytorque.Face the Music
2007 – Bodytorque.Generations
2008 – Bodytorque.To the Pointe
2009 – Bodytorque.2.2
2010 – Bodytorque.á la mode

26 – 29 May (5 performances)
Sydney Theatre at Walsh Bay
or 02 9250 1999

“The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque program is stronger than ever”
Daily Telegraph, 2010

Meet the 2011 Bodytorque setDANIEL GAUDIELLO Tristan and Isolde
Daniel Gaudiello has found his muse in the art of classical ballet. He will present a new but traditionally styled grand pas de deux based on the story ballet, Tristan and Isolde.

Brisbane-born Daniel joined The Australian Ballet in 2004. He received the 2007 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and was promoted to principal artist in 2010.  A strong interest in choreography has seen him create works for the company’s Bodytorque program for the last three consecutive years.

Daniel says: “A muse is a never-ending stream of energy. When you dip your paint brush in, it will always come out a new colour.

Encomium is inspired by Kevin Jackson’s mother. Fittingly, he has dedicated this piece to her. The work follows a boy’s coming of age as he pulls away from his maternal figure, only to later return as an adult man.

Perth-born Kevin joined The Australian Ballet in 2003. He was recipient of the 2008 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and was promoted to principal artist
in 2010. Kevin made his choreographic debut with a piece titled Enter Closer for Bodytorque2.2 in 2009.

Kevin says: “A muse is someone who inspires me to create, grow and love.”

Alice was moved by a photography exhibition called Timelines. Her piece explores the depth and breadth of time and the way it’s perceived through photographic images.

Alice was born and raised in Bendigo. After a stint with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, she joined
The Australian Ballet in 2007. Alice made her choreographic debut with Trace for Bodytorque.á la mode in 2010. The work has received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography at
the upcoming 2011 Australian Dance Awards.

Alice says: “A muse is a source from which your creative vision is born. It is what inspires, motivates and influences the content of the work, colouring it with purpose and expression.


After reading her father’s research into children’s perception of mapping, Lisa’s work has evolved to explore the idea of our own internal maps.

Lisa is a Brisbane-based independent artist,
working across choreography, performance and education. Her choreographic credits have included pieces for Dance North, Expressions Dance Company and Queensland Ballet Company.
She recently premiered her first full-length work, Elbow Room at Brisbane’s Powerhouse.

Lisa says: “A muse is a source of inspiration, a starting point, a thing that inspires deeper reflection and creative absorption.

VIVIENNE WONG Touch Transfer
Vivienne’s piece was sparked by the enjoyment she feels when pencil sketching.  Touch Transfer will bring together the beauty of dancing and drawing
in a work that uses the stage as a canvas, dancers’ bodies as the artist’s hand and movement as the brushstrokes.

Sydney–born Vivienne joined The Australian Ballet
in 2003 and was promoted to coryphée in 2008.
She has toured extensively overseas with The Australian Ballet, and makes her choreographic debut with Touch Transfer.

Vivienne says: “A muse is a spark that resonates within our hearts and mind.  It is something that
gives us the power to create.

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