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Classical dance at its best
Like all ballet lovers in Adelaide, I eagerly look forward to the one week of the year when The Australian Ballet is in town and we can get our fill of the grace and talent of this universally renowned company.
Since 1962, they have been entertaining and enthralling Australian audiences with their increasingly proficient creations designed by some of the best choreographers in the business. The dancers of The Australian Ballet are now recognised as some of the best in the world and they are frequently headhunted by international ballet companies who are keen to snaffle some new talent.
This year, Adelaide is fortunate to get two very different productions – one is a favourite classical ballet beloved by aficionados and dancers alike, and the other is a trilogy of works by the great choreographer Frederic Ashton, with a delightful tribute to William Shakespeare.
Giselle is a haunting tale of ill-fated love and will be performed at 7.30pm in the Adelaide Festival Centre from July 2nd to 6th, with a matinee performance at 1.30pm on July 4th.
This ballet is a familiar story of the simple village girl who falls in love with a deceiver, but dies from a broken heart and then returns as a gentle spirit to save her lover. It incorporates all the treasured elements of classical dance – romantic costumes, beautiful music and elegant dancers.
The production of The Dream (which incorporates Monotones 11 and Symphonic Variations) will be at the Festival Centre for only two performances, on July 8th and 9th at 7.30pm.
The Dream is a variation on the Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night's Dream and features the romantic machinations of the King of the Fairies Oberon, as well as plenty of comedic opportunities for the hapless Bottom, and much mischief from the sprite Puck. The splendid costumes for this production are by courtesy of the Dutch National Opera and Ballet and with Ashton's choreography and Felix Mendelssohn's music, it is sure to please the whole family.
Monotones 11 was first produced for The Royal Ballet in 1966 using a set of piano pieces by Erik Satie, while Symphonic Variation was one of Frederic Ashton's earlier works, produced on his return from service with the RAF in World War 2. This piece of pure ballet features only six dancers who all remain on the stage throughout, fluidly following the ebb and flow of Cesar Franck's music.