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Qld Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty sets box office record

International guests stars Alina Cojocaru and Chi Cao in Greg Horsman's The Sleeping Beauty. Photo David Kelly.

Queensland Ballet's recent production of Greg Horsman's The Sleeping Beauty has become the Company's highest selling production ever, overtaking the latest record set just last year.

The hugely successful season closed on Saturday night surpassing the recent record set by last year's season of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet which at the time set a 54 year record.

Queensland Ballet's Artistic Director Li Cunxin couldn't be happier with the results saying that more than 16,500 people attended performances during the season from 23 -31 October.

"We're delighted that this season has been such a success and that we keep breaking our records with this season exceeding $1.15 million in box office takings," he said.

"I am enormously proud of the Company and what it has achieved this year with this season's success hot on the heels of an acclaimed international tour to London.

"This season was made all the more special thanks to performances by three international ballet stars Romanian ballerina Alina Cojocaru, Cuban ballet star Victor Estevez and Chinese ballet star Chi Cao.

"These dancers brought such experience and grace to the stage and our Queensland Ballet dancers certainly met their standard and impressed.

" Alina is widely considered to be one of the best Auroras dancing today and those who saw her performing the role of Aurora alongside Chi Cao were certainly thrilled by the experience.

"Victor danced the role of the Prince with one of our Principals Laura Hidalgo and also wowed audiences with all reviews lauding the abilities of our dancers as they stepped into various roles throughout the season."

The performances of Alina Cojocaru and Victor Estevez were made possible by Queensland Government funding through Arts Queensland.

"Having our international stars as part of this season has been a great thing not only for our audiences but also for our dancers who gain valuable professional experience in working alongside these performers. Our dancers get to learn from them and with them, are inspired by them and have the career highlight of performing on the same stage."

Queensland Premier and Arts Minister, Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Queensland Ballet on its success.

"Queensland Ballet has a well-deserved reputation for bringing the world's great ballets and international stars to our door," the Premier said.

"The Sleeping Beauty has been a real highlight of Queensland Ballet's enormously successful 2015 season, and I'm delighted to see that so many Queenslanders fell under its spell."

This season will be particularly memorable for one of Queensland Ballet's dancers, Shane Wuerthner, who was promoted to Principal Dancer following Saturday's matinee in which he performed the role of the Prince.

Shane joined Queensland Ballet as a Soloist in August 2014 coming from San Francisco Ballet. Shane trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and Washington DC's Kirov Academy. Shane has also performed as a corps de ballet member and demi-soloist with the Vienna State Opera Ballet.

Greg Horsman's The Sleeping Beauty received rave reviews from critics both for the international stars' performances and for the Company as a whole.

Mr Li said the Company was looking forward to continuing the year's focus of bringing fairy tales to life with the Christmas favourite of Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker next to take to the stage.

"Next year promises to be bigger than ever and we'll just have to see if we can break this latest record."

More stories in Showbiz News.

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