Get ready for Christmas with a gorgeous all-ages show from the Australian Ballet in Harlequinade.
It sprung from the mind of 19th-century choreographer Marius Petipa and shares more in common with his celebrated take on The Sleeping Beauty than it does the darker drama of his Swan Lake. A harlequin awakes from a 100-year snooze to find himself knee-deep in romantic drama. He wants to marry his lover, Columbine, but her father has other plans. A bit of a horror, he locks her up until he can hand her over to a richer man. Of course love conquers all, with a little help from a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust.
Riccardo Drigo, conductor and composer at St Petersburg’s Imperial Ballet for two decades, created the magical score. Drawing on tradition, this production’s set and costume designer Robert Perdziola studied the originals, held in a St Petersburg museum.
“At American Ballet Theatre in New York, Alexei Ratmansky and I brought the sad, languid clown Pierrot to life through the notations of Petipa’s ballet,” Australian Ballet artistic director David Hallberg says. “To resurrect from the archives a ballet by one of dance’s greatest creators was something I cherished, and I look forward to passing the experience on to the artists who will perform the role here in Australia.”