Australian Ballet: fairies, nymphs, royals and fantastical characters
Following a critically acclaimed world , and sell-out seasons across the country, The Australian Ballet brings David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty to Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre, from 24 February to 4 March.
Fairies, bluebirds, a gilded court, and a spell-shattering kiss: one of the most beloved fairytale ballets has been re-awakened to new life in Artistic Director David McAllister’s lavish production.
Keeping true to the artistic spirit of the traditional version of The Sleeping Beauty, this new production gives rein to the talents of the entire company. Sumptuous, sparkling sets and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova evoke the gilded splendour of the Imperial court and the French Louis XIV period alongside the magic of elves, nymphs and fairies. The much anticipated world premiere of this landmark production was the highlight of The Australian Ballet’s recent seasons.
With iconic dance moments such as the famously difficult Rose Adage, as well as commanding soloist roles and exceptional ensemble dances for the corps de ballet, this work is a perfect addition to the company’s repertoire. Tchaikovsky’s genius for creating melodies and mastery of musical structure are on show from beginning to end. The exquisite dancing and the famous score, ensure The Sleeping Beauty is one of the most beloved ballets of dance’s golden age.
For McAllister this production has been a crowning moment following an 18-year dance career with the company and 14 years as its Artistic Director. “The Sleeping Beauty is one of the great ballet works and Petipa’s choreography is a pure celebration of the classical art form. My production is a traditional retelling, but shaped to reflect the concerns and responsibilities of a modern-day monarchy,” said McAllister.
“To reveal a deeper, more meaningful story, the ballet showcases the drama and double-cross of twists and turns, of characters we can relate to, and the sense of triumph when the human spirit prevails. Aurora is strong and independent and aware of her responsibilities as princess and future monarch. She connects with her prince and their hearts are united, their future entwined with love’s first kiss,” he says.
Gabriela Tylesova is one of the world’s most respected theatre designers. Audiences across the globe have marvelled at the inspired creative artistry of her renowned sets and costumes, which have seen her receive two Helpmann Award nominations in 2016 for Best Costume Design and Best Scenic Design.
“I am thrilled to have worked with David McAllister to create the grand theatrical versions of the Royal Palace, with its gardens dramatically transformed, and the masked ball inspired by Louis XIV’s court,” says Tylesova.
“There are hundreds of costumes: bejewelled, enchanting tutus; ornate robes; layered period dresses; sparkling headdresses; wings, and more. This is the world of fairies, woodland nymphs, the royal court and various fantastical characters,” adds the designer.
David McAllister’s version of The Sleeping Beauty has already been enjoyed by more than 65,000 people with sell-out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth following the world premiere in 2015.
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