In its upcoming season of Flourish, Queensland Ballet will perform four starkly beautiful ballets from around the world: George Balanchine’s Serenade; Nils Christe’s Short Dialogues; Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero; and Ben Stevenson’s La Esmeralda grand pas de deux.
This exciting mixed program will be performed in Brisbane from 1 to 9 August at the Playhouse, QPAC and it is the first time Queensland Ballet will perform one of choreographer George Balanchine’s works.
“It has been one of my ambitions for the Company to stage a work from the Balanchine repertoire, and what better one to begin with than Serenade, one of his early masterpieces,” artistic Director Li Cunxin said .
As fresh and illuminating now as when it was created in 1934, this iconic work re-shaped classical ballet into poetic geometry with a drifting, swirling ensemble, awash with beauty and bathed in light.
“It is a pleasure to have Jerri Kumery, former dancer with New York City Ballet and now a trusted stager for The George Balanchine Trust, join us to coach the dancers in Balanchine’s signature neoclassical style,” Mr Li said.
The second work, Short Dialogues, brought people to their feet when it premièred in Queensland Ballet’s International Gala in 2011.
A provoking glimpse into three couples’ relationships, Nils Christe’s choreography is fast, sharp, and perfectly matched to Philip Glass’s pulsing score.
Mr Li is looking forward to Nils Christe’s return to the Company. “It is such a striking, modern piece, that I felt it more than deserved a reprise in this season. “Our dancers are also delighted to work again with Nils and Annegien Sneep, his wife and Rehearsal Director.”
Bolero is another work of recent times by New York based choreographer Nicolo Fonte.
Mr Li comments that Nicolo Fonte is one of the most sought-after choreographers in America today.
“We are very privileged to have Nicolo Fonte here to stage his electrifying Bolero. “With abstract contemporary movement matching the intensity of the musical crescendo, Bolero is an energetic and athletic tour de force.”
Bolero steadily builds to the famous rhythm of Ravel’s rising orchestral music, and Fonte’s precise, athletic choreography captures the escalating intensity of the music, culminating in an exuberant finale.
In contrast, Ben Stevenson’s grand pas de deux from La Esmeralda is a gem from the classical era.
Adapting Marius Petipa’s revival of the original work by Jules Perrot, Ben Stevenson has created a thrilling showpiece of bravura technique.
Mr Li knows the piece well. “Ben Stevenson’s La Esmeralda is an incredibly difficult classical pas de deux that demands highly disciplined technique. “It is a piece I am particularly fond of, so it’s going to be very rewarding to see how the dancers respond to the challenges of this bravura classical piece.”
Flourish has brought together an impressive array of creative forces, including the skills of lighting designers Ben Hughes and Michael Mazzola.
“Each of the four works in Flourish present a unique expressive challenge for the dancers.
“I hope that this performance also challenges audiences to gain a deeper appreciation of the different dance styles that have evolved from classical ballet.”
Flourish will show at the Playhouse, QPAC on the following dates:
Friday 1 August, 7.30pm LIMITED SEATS
Saturday 2 August, 1.30pm
Saturday 2 August, 7.30pm
Tuesday 5 August, 6.30pm
Wednesday 6 August, 12.30pm
Wednesday 6 August, 7.30pm
Thursday 7 August, 7.30pm
Friday 8 August, 7.30pm
Saturday 9 August, 1.30pm
Saturday 9 August, 7.30pm
Tickets available online at queenslandballet.com.au or by calling Qtix on 136 246.
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