Sydney is home to a couple of world class dance organisations and often attracts touring companies too. Here's our selection of what's coming up.
If you've ever had a chance to see the Australian Ballet in action, there's a good chance you'll have seen them performing works choreographed by the country's leading dancemaker, Graeme Murphy. To celebrate Murphy’s prolific 50-year career with the Aussie Ballet, the company will perform a repertoire of some of his greatest moments at the company at the Sydney Opera House. Titled Murphy, the bill will feature Murphy’s acclaimed 2009 take on ‘Firebird’ (created for the Australian Ballet, as part of a triple bill paying homage to major 20th century works by the Ballet Russes), alongside a series of shorter works created during his tenure as artistic director of Sydney Dance Company. You'll get a snapshot of Graeme's career highlights including The Silver Rose, Air and Other Invisible Forces, Grand, and Ellipse. Graeme Murphy started off his career in the Australian Ballet's corps de ballet, before making his way to be the head of Sydney Dance Company. Across his five-decade-long career, Murphy has propelled his bold and passionate artistry onto the stages of Australia and across the world, and this performance will showcase a snapshot of his talent.
Tender Young Creatures is an interactive re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood – exploring the experience of girls walking home alone after sundown. The immersive performance also includes a one-day theatre-devising workshop on April 25, engaging audiences with singing, acting and movement that will conclude with a performance featuring all workshop participants. With a jam-packed musical schedule, Tender Young Creatures is sure to inspire young female artists and assist them in kick-starting their own creative pursuits.
The Merry Widow is one of the Australian Ballet's greatest achievements – it premiered in 1975 and has been revived by popular demand every couple of years since then. It was adapted from Franz Lehár's operetta by Australian dance legend Ropert Helpmann and English choreographer Ronald Hynd. It's a visual feast but also features all of Lehár's gorgeously light and romantic melodies, played by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Acclaimed Australian dancer-choreographer Kristina Chan performs her full-length solo dance work, taking audiences on a journey to confront our relationship with the natural environment. Through a captivating contemporary dance, Chan explores the interplay between our reliance on natural resources and the impact this has on the natural world. Chan’s precise, intuitive movements will be performed to an electronic score by composer James Brown. This will connect Chan’s intricate choreography to the shifting stage environment created by designer Clare Britton. A Faint Existence is featuring in the first UnWrapped series at the Sydney Opera House, which gives audiences the opportunity to see contemporary Australian performances rarely staged beyond their premier seasons.
Leading French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj isn't exactly Walt Disney and his version of Snow White is nothing like the famous 1937 animated film. Instead, Preljocaj's contemporary ballet takes the side of the fabulously wicked stepmother, who becomes the central figure and pushes the ingenue Snow White to the background. Performed to a score of Mahler's symphonies, the ballet follows the original Brothers Grimm story quite closely, with all its creepiness and magic. This isn't a production recommended for children, and let's face it: most adults relate more to the stepmother, who is quickly cast aside when a new "fairest in the land" rocks up. This wicked stepmother is definitely not the same character from the Disney film, thanks to fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who has created the sexy and dominatrix-inspired costumes for the production, which features plenty of eye-catching spectacle, including a group of dancing, abseiling dwarves. Ballet Preljocaj's Snow White premiered in 2008 and has been touring fairly consistently ever since. It had its Australian debut at Brisbane Festival in 2016, but this year makes its Sydney debut.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re turning into your father (or mother) you’ll appreciate the honest and insightful humour behind Two Jews walk into a theatre... Theatre-maker and performer Brian Lipson and choreographer and ex-dancer Gideon Obarzanek embody their dads as they perform an imagined meeting between the two fathers. Structured as a series of improvised conversations about their sons, the theatre and the world at large, the men share their intense likes, dislikes and disappointments. Theatre, comedy and dance collide as this odd couple fire verbal volleys that hit way too close to home. Two Jews walk into a theatre... is featuring in the first UnWrapped series at the Sydney Opera House, which gives audiences the opportunity to see contemporary Australian performances rarely staged beyond their premier seasons.