Meet the instruments: The celeste
Image via myvst.com

Meet the instruments: The celeste

Kissing cousin to the piano but with a sound straight from fairyland, the celeste is the perfect accompaniment to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s solo in The Nutcracker. How is that sound made? And what does it have to do with Harry Potter? We caught up with our Principal Pianist Stuart Macklin to find out. (more…)

16 December 2014

Our staff picks for 2015

Our staff picks for 2015

What ballets are we most looking forward to in our 2015 season? From our Artistic Director to our dancers to our Head of Millinery to our Travel Coordinator, our staff give their top picks for the Year of Beauty.

Lana Jones. Photography Georges Antoni

Lana Jones. Photography Georges Antoni

David McAllister, Artistic Director
The Sleeping Beauty - what can I say! It’s the best music ever written for ballet, we have the stunning designer Gabriela Tylesova working on our new production and an amazing company of dancers – who wouldn’t be excited? (more…)

10 December 2014

The perfect flowers to give to dancers
Senior artist Ako Kondo. Photography Kate Longley

The perfect flowers to give to dancers

When the Guardian’s dance critic Judith Mackrell wrote a fascinating article on how ballet fell for flower-giving, she explored the secret world of floral gifts. As a tribute to this tradition and nod to Mackrell’s own account, here are some of the best flowers to give to dancers, based on their hidden meanings.

Photography Kate Longley

Photography Kate Longley

(more…)

5 December 2014

Giselle: the characters

Giselle: the characters

Giselle, which premiered in 1841, has stood the test of time – not only because of the otherworldly beauty of its “white” act, but because of the universal passion and drama of its storyline. First love, betrayal, jealousy, hurt and forgiveness … we’ve all been through them, and that’s what makes Giselle resonate in the chamber of our hearts.

Upping the emotional ante is the room for interpretation within the main characters. Each dancer playing Giselle, Albrecht and Hilarion will bring their particular slant to the role, which can change the flavour of the whole ballet. It’s why Balanchine compared Giselle to Hamlet, and why it’s a ballet worth seeing again and again. Let’s meet the four main characters:

GISELLE

Rachel Rawlins and Matthew Lawrence. Photography Danielle Lyonne

Rachel Rawlins and Matthew Lawrence. Photography Danielle Lyonne

She’s the village belle, newly crowned the Harvest Queen, and beloved by all for her sweet nature and ebullience. She loves to dance, but her heart is weak – it will ultimately kill her when she’s reeling from the shock of discovering her lover is not what he seems. Fragile as she is in life, in death she reveals a new strength as she protects her lover from the wilis, and achieves a tender and luminous forgiveness. (more…)

25 November 2014

Against-the-odds heroines

Nikiya the temple dancer, the heroine of La Bayadère, has to battle the odds to win her true love Solor. Her rival Gamzatti is a rich, spoilt princess who’s determined by fair means or foul to steal the handsome warrior for her own, and who resorts to killing Nikiya with a cunningly planted snake to get her out of the way.

But Nikiya prevails (albeit after death). Solor pledges his love afresh to the vision of her ghost, her shade interrupts the wedding, and in a blissful afterlife, she’s reunited with her man.

Girl battles rich, glamorous rival and wins her way to love … we couldn’t help but think of the many times this plot has delighted us. From the page and the screen, here are our favourite win-the-day heroines. Who’s yours?

SABRINA

Image courtesy of Classiq.me

Image from Classiq.me

(more…)

21 November 2014

5 reasons you need to see Giselle
Lucinda Dunn, Robert Curran and artists of The Australian Ballet in Maina Gielgud's Giselle. Photography Danielle Lyonne

5 reasons you need to see Giselle

Maina Gielgud says it: “There’s everything in Giselle. Love, heartbreak, madness … and a lot of pure dance.” Maina’s sublime production of this great Romantic ballet is coming to our stages in 2015. Here are five reasons not to miss it.

THE LOVE STORY
The innocent Giselle and the careless Albrecht move from infatuation and betrayal to a tender, redemptive love guaranteed to melt your heart.

Rachel Rawlins, Matthew Lawrence and artists of The Australian Ballet in Maina Gielgud's Giselle. Photography Danielle Lyonne

Rachel Rawlins, Matthew Lawrence and artists of The Australian Ballet in Maina Gielgud’s Giselle. Photography Danielle Lyonne

(more…)