It’s been a powerhouse year for the Australian Ballet under the stewardship of former American Ballet Theatre star David Hallberg. The company breathed new life into adored classics like superstar choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s lush reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and will take us into Christmas with John Cranko’s adored spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But they also upended expectations of what the world-renowned troupe can do, pirouetting into breathtaking contemporary form with Kunstkamer, originally commissioned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theater.
If the latter left you stunned, trust us, you’re going to want to snap up tickets to their next wow-inducing outing at the Sydney Opera House, Instruments of Dance. Presenting a superstar triple bill of contemporary ballet, this is your chance to catch the physically silken creations of three of the most in-demand choreographers at work in the business right now.
Tony Award-winning New York City Ballet hotshot Justin Peck was the man revered filmmaker Steven Spielberg reached out to craft the choreography of his loving retelling of cherished musical West Side Story. He’s also a talented filmmaker who whipped up the music video for The National track ‘Dark Side of the Gym’. So you can expect he’ll pack some of that silver screen magic into Everywhere We Go. Marking the first time his work has hit Australian stages, the high-impact sequence taps 25 of the Australian Ballet’s dancers. Music lovers will also get a kick out of the fact it’s set to a swoonsome score by indie darling Sufjan Stevens.
British megastar Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet as well as leading his own award-gobbling company, will slow down your racing heart with cerebral work Obsidian Tear. Commanding an all-male corps of nine dancers, Obsidian Tear’s a sensual movement inspired by the tectonic shifts of the world and the myths that erupted from its fiery heart. McGregor’s also made his mark on the movies, as movement coach on films like Mary Queen of Scots, starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, as well as corralling the legendary Swedish superstars in mesmerising holographic concert ABBA Voyage. So that should give you a tantalising tease sense of the vibe to expect.
The last spot’s reserved for The Australian Ballet's Bendigo-born resident choreographer and Project Animo co-founder Alice Topp. She scooped up the 2019 Helpmann Award for Best Ballet for Aurum, a soulful work spun from the Japanese tradition of repairing broken ceramics with traces of molten gold. Thrillingly ambitious new work Annealing fields half the company in a piece that rewrites the notion that strength suggests stonelike hardness, instead folding us into the all-embracing warmth of softness. It’s set to the soothing strings of composer Bryony Marks, who also scored Cate Shortland thriller Berlin Syndrome on the big screen, and recent ABC hit series Savage River.
With adult tickets starting from just short of $50, Instruments of Dance allows you the chance to see three of the world’s most exciting choreographers fielding their finest in the always spectacular surrounds of the Opera House, all without breaking the bank. And that is something worth dancing about.
Instruments of Dance is performing at the Sydney Opera House' Joan Sutherland Theatre from November 10-26, 2022. Find out more and get tickets here.