Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), alongside Queensland’s Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch and Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones has announced one of the world’s most historically renowned ballet companies, Paris Opera Ballet, will perform exclusively for the 2020 QPAC International Series from 1 to 19 July.
Paris Opera Ballet will bring the epitome of French culture to Brisbane and Queensland in a vast program on and off the stage. Featuring an Opening Gala, Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake and a mixed bill of contemporary works in Parisienne Soirée, the season is expected to be Australia’s cultural event of the year.
Since its inception in 2009, the QPAC International Series has been supported by the Queensland Government with funding from Tourism and Events Queensland. Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the company was the first to appear in QPAC’s International Series which, over the past 10 years, has presented some of the world’s top performing arts companies.
“The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world’s oldest ballet companies, and the last time they visited Queensland was in 2009 for the first International Series held at QPAC,” Minister Enoch said.
“This is a rare chance for Queenslanders to see this prestigious company live on stage, accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
“There will also be many opportunities for Queenslanders to connect with Paris Opera Ballet’s exclusive visit to our state, including public conversations, exhibitions, community participation projects and more.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said welcoming back one of the world’s most historically renowned ballet companies for an exclusive season in Brisbane would pump $5 million into Queensland’s economy.
“Events like this are a huge boon for our tourism industry,” Minister Jones said.
“We look forward to welcoming this prestigious ballet company to Queensland, which will attract high-value tourists from overseas and interstate.
“Since 2009, the QPAC International Series has attracted the world’s finest companies to perform exclusively in Brisbane, including The Royal Ballet, Teatro alla Scala and last year’s Bolshoi Ballet, contributing nearly $33 million to our tourism economy.
“Securing the Paris Opera Ballet will continue to build on this success and add to an epic line-up of cultural events for Queensland in 2020, including Richard Wagner’s operatic masterpiece The Ring.” On 1 July 2020, the Opening Gala will feature Paris Opera Ballet’s étoiles in an enchanting evening of pas de deux with excerpts from five classical and contemporary dance works in the Company’s extensive repertoire. The Gala will showcase a range of choreographers from George Balanchine to Australia’s own Rafael Bonachela.
Created for Paris Opera Ballet in 1984 under his tenure as Director, the Company will stage Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake from 4 to 12 July 2020. Nureyev chose to give this signature Paris Opera Ballet work a Freudian dimension, illuminating Tchaikovsky’s iconic score through a sense of profound hopelessness.
Showcasing Paris Opera Ballet’s diversity, three celebrated works now considered synonymous with the Company will be presented in Parisienne Soirée from 16 to 19 July 2020. The mixed bill comprises Blake Works I, with music by James Blake and choreographed by William Forsythe; In the Night, a one act ballet by Jerome Robbins set to the nocturnes of Frédéric Chopin; and The Seasons’ Canon by Crystal Pite, featuring music by Max Richter.
Paris Opera Ballet Dance Director Aurélie Dupont said after participating in the inaugural QPAC International Series, it was with great pleasure the Company presented for the second time at QPAC.
“I would like to sincerely thank John Kotzas, Chief Executive of QPAC; Leo Schofield and Ian McRae, QPAC International Series Guest Curators; Leeanne Enoch, Minister for the Arts; and Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, who have supported this season,” Ms Dupont said.
“In addition to the international dimension, the dancers and myself are thrilled to come to Australia to present a series showcasing the different faces of our company.” QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said it had been 10 years since the Centre brought Paris Opera Ballet to Queensland for the first QPAC International Series in 2009. “This season has been a long time coming, but worth the wait. We will present an extensive program on and off the stage that showcases the remarkable depth of the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet and engages audiences in the very best of French culture,” Mr Kotzas said.
Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world and considered the birthplace of classical dance, dating back to 1661 and the establishment of the Académie royale de Danse by Louis XIV. At the time, the Academy’s mission was to develop the theatrical dance style performed in court, which noblemen and the King himself took part in. Over the years it has been home to many of the world’s greatest choreographers, including George Balanchine, Serge Lifar, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart and Pina Bausch.
Since its inaugural presentation in 2009, the QPAC International Series has welcomed some of the world’s finest performing arts companies – including Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Teatro alla Scala – with many of them making their Australian debuts.
QPAC Presents Paris Opera Ballet: Opening Gala, Wednesday 1 July; Swan Lake. Saturday 4 to Sunday 12 July; Parisienne Soirée, Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 July.
Tickets are on sale to the general public via www.qpac.com.au/paris or phone 136 246.