The 2018 China Tour, The Australian Ballet‘s ninth tour to China, marks the international debut of Artistic Director David McAllister’s dazzling production ofThe Sleeping Beauty, which is sure to enchant audiences in Beijing and Shanghai, while the company will present the delightful, enduring romance of Maina Gielgud’sGiselle to audiences in Nanjing.
Announcing the tour at Parliament House on the 19th June, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Communications confirmed Federal Government’s support for this important tour, which will contribute funding of $100,000 towards tour costs.
“This tour to China once again presents opportunities to showcase The Australian Ballet’s position as a great cultural ambassador for Australia, highlighting the world class skill and talent of their artists and productions and many cultural exchanges that have been initiated as a result of the company‘s long association with China,” said Minister Fifield.
“It will be very exciting to perform our newest production,The Sleeping Beauty, outside Australia for the first time and in China, the country that we have toured more than anywhere else in the world. I hope our Chinese audiences enjoy the journey of fantasy and wonder this production offers,featuring the magical world of Gabriela Tylesova’s designs,” said Artistic Director David McAllister. “I really wanted this production to be a showcase for the wonderfully talented dancers of The Australian Ballet, I’m sure that The Australian Ballet and our Chinese audiences will build even closer friendships as we present these performances in Beijing and Shanghai.”
In addition to the support of the Australian Government and The Australian Ballet’s official airline partner Qantas,this tour is also supported by Major Tour Partner Australia Post, and tour partners La Trobe University and Morgan Stanley.
Embarking on such an international tour is not a simple exercise. Speaking at the announcement in Canberra, Executive Director Libby Christie noted that the project involved a touring party of 130 people, including dancers,musicians, wardrobe, medical, technical, production and support staff, along with 9 shipping containers comprising scenery and stage props, over 1,826 costume items and 450 pairs of shoes, including 300 pointe shoes.
The Australian Ballet has a long and proud history of touring to China. In 1980 it was the first international ballet company to visit China following the Cultural Revolution.
Since then, The Australian Ballet has completed eight highly acclaimed tours to China, most recently in 2015. As a result, the company has developed strong relationships with resident Chinese ballet companies, including ex-change programs for dancers and those working behind-the-scenes.
The Australian Ballet continues to celebrate its position as a cultural ambassador for Australia with a high profile history of international touring that has taken the company to 37 countries and 88 cities since it was founded in 1962.