It will be a year packed with unforgettable performances and landmark events. At the centre of The Australian Ballet’s season is the world premiere of The Happy Prince, by legendary Australian choreographer Graeme Murphy. Resident AB choreographer Stanton Welch’s Sylvia will whisk us away to the world of Greek mythology in the Australian premiere of the work. The world premiere will take place in Houston in February. This is a co-production with Houston Ballet, and marks the first visit to Australia by renowned contemporary ballet company Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo who will also bring Jean-Christophe Maillot’s LAC, a sinister, erotic take onSwan Lake, to Melbourne. Australian Ballet's recently appointed fourth resident choreographer and coryphée Alice Topp’sAurum, staged only in Melbourne last year, will be seen in Sydney in 2019 as part of the contemporary program Verveand is also slated for New York’s Joyce Theatre in May.
Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Associate Liam Scarlett will introduce Dangerous Liaisons, a tale of love and intrigue with extraordinary sets and costumes by Tracey Grant Lord. This world premiere is a co-production with Texas Ballet Theater. Another program highlight, The Masters Series, is a triple bill featuring works from two of the ballet world’s most respected choreographers, George Balanchine and Jiři Kylián, joined by acclaimed American choreographer Trey McIntyre. Balanchine’s Serenade and Kylián’s Soldier’s Mass are two iconic ballets and Trey McIntyre will create a new work for the company. Adding extra lustre to the QB line-up, Alondra de la Parra of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra will conduct the orchestra for select performances of the season.
Sydney Dance Company celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a sparkling program of eight new pieces, seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, an extensive 11-stop national tour and an international tour. The company’s 2019 program celebrates the breadth of choreographic dynamism and diversity from four Australian choreographic powerhouses, Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, Gabrielle Nankivell, Melanie Lane and Gideon Obarzanek.
Bonachela says the program pays tribute to the many artists who have contributed to Sydney Dance Company in the last 50 years as well as the artistic leadership of Suzanne Musitz, Jaap Flier, Graeme Murphy and Tanja Liedtke. Highlights of the season include the world premiere of Cinco, the premiere of Gabrielle Nankivell’s Neon Aether and the return of Melanie Lane’s 2017 New Breed smash-hit WOOF.
WA Ballet’s 2019 program is also alight with premieres and new productions. Part of Perth Festival, In-Synch: Ballet at the Quarry featuresReincarnation, In-Synch and–It. The company will also present the Australian premiere of the new ballet sensation,Alice in Wonderland. Septime Webre’s extravagant production is an over-the-top re-imagining of the Lewis Carroll classic with a thrilling original score performed live by West Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. WAB’s sumptuous new production of La Bayadère(The Temple Dancer) will transport us to the exotic world of the 19th century British Raj. Greg Horsman’s magnificent reimagining of the revered classic is full of bold colour and energy.
Next year will see the return of a number of acclaimed works. The Australian Ballet’s award-winning, sell-out hit of 2017, Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland makes its Brisbane debut and returns to Melbourne, and the highly-acclaimed contemporary triple bill Verve comes to Sydney. The company will also showcase some home-grown masterpieces in the form of Stephen Baynes’ Constant Variants — a stylish portrait of neoclassical technique; Alice Topp's Aurum, and Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow. Widely considered the world’s most beautiful version of The Nutcracker, Peter Wright’s sumptuous traditional production closes The Australian Ballet’s 2019 season.
Internationally renown for combining more than 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with powerful contemporary dance, immersive soundscapes, music and design, Bangarra Dance Theatre enter their third decade in 2019. Proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from all over Australia will come together as a creative clan with Artistic Director and choreographer Stephen Page at the helm, to harness a shared spirit with season details to be announced soon.
Queensland Ballet’s My First Ballet series returns in July with its second instalment —The Little Green Road to Fairyland, a co-production with Queensland Music Festival. Songstress Katie Noonan will join feature in select performances of this production with an original musical score by Elena Kats-Chernin. The return of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’sRomeo & Julietwill be a feature of the company’s season. Last seen by Brisbane audiences during its sell-out season in 2014, MacMillan’s epic production is widely recognised as one of ballet’s best. Queensland Ballet Artistic Director, Li Cunxin, is proud of this production for another reason.
'It thrills me that after having to bring in international guest stars in 2014 to bring this ballet to Brisbane audiences, Queensland Ballet has now grown to such an international standard that we can proudly present this incredible ballet in our own right.’
Other firm QB favourites set to return are Bespoke, returning after its remarkably successful inaugural season in 2017, with choreographers Lucy Guerin, Amy Hollingsworth and Loughlan Prior. Rounding off the program and unwrapping the festive season will be the Ben Stevenson’s much loved The Nutcracker.
Our MPAs’ commitment to the future is evident from the way the 2019 programs invest in emerging talent. Sydney Dance Company and Carriageworks will showcase a rich diversity of choreographic ideas through New Breed in brand new pieces created for Sydney Dance Company.
Queensland Ballet’s Synergy will feature the company’s Pre-Professional Program dancers, their Jette Parker Young Artists with some of their company artists performing new works from emerging choreographers. The Academy Gala will feature QB students in works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Liam Scarlett in a program of inspiring classical and contemporary works.
West Australia’s Genesis showcases the next generation of choreographic talent in a unique mini-season of short works.
Our dance companies will inspire international and regional audiences next year. In June Sydney Dance Company will embark on an extensive European tour to Austria, Finland, Poland and Spain with Rafael Bonachela’s critically acclaimed ab [intra]. The Australian Ballet will perform in outer metro and regional theatres, and will record and broadcast their performances to Australia and audiences around the world. West Australian Ballet will head out to the regions to showcase their most loved classical and neoclassical works, including The Nutcracker, Dracula andCinderellaalong with contemporary worksReincarnation, Les Indomptés, Ballet 101 andTarantella. Queensland Ballet will take Liam Scarlett’s Dangerous Liaisons on a mid-year tour throughout regional Queensland taking to the Gold Coast, Cairns, Toowoomba and Mackay.
What a trailblazing year it will be!