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Ballet’s favourite rom-com
is back. Set in 1878, in
the German settlement of
Hahndorf, South Australia,
Coppélia traces the antics
of two young lovers – an
eccentric doctor and
a life-like doll – as jealousy
and passion escalate to
full-blown chaos. Presented
by the WA and Queensland
ballets. His Majesty’s
Theatre, Sept 11-26 .
Gather round, swingers!
No, not that kind – we’re
talking the jump-and-jive
variety. Dance school
Swing It is hosting a fun-
filled weekend of authentic
Some performances are
so spectacular they stick in
your mind forever. Featuring
sumptuous staging and one of
ballet’s toughest sequences,
The Sleeping Beauty is one
of those must-see events.
The Australian Ballet’s Perth-
born artistic director tells
us why he can’t wait to bring
the show home.
What can audiences expect from this
production? Is it one for the kids?
I think it will be a true spectacle, as the sets and
costumes are amazingly opulent and beautiful –
and the whole company is involved, so there’s
a huge number of people on stage. I found it to
be a magical ballet when I saw it as a child. It has
some extraordinary dancing so it will be a great
vehicle for first-timers as well as hard-core ballet fans.
We made it quite a bit shorter than other productions
of The Sleeping Beauty that we’ve staged, so I hope it
will keep children (and their parents) fully engaged.
Do you have a favourite moment?
So many! The entrance of the fairies will be magical.
The Rose Adage in Act One, where Aurora (Sleeping
Beauty) is courted by four suitors, has some of the
most amazing music in the show – it also contains the
famous balances for the ballerina, which is a fabulous
feat to watch. Then of course The Kiss is a big moment.
Do you enjoy coming back to Perth?
I love it, and it is even more special when it is with
the company. I am always amazed at how the city
continues to grow, and there are always wonderful
new restaurants to visit and places to discover.
I remember as a young dancer how exciting it was to
see The Australian Ballet performing in Perth. Western
Australia is so lucky to have its own ballet company,
but it is also great to see the national company
performing large-scale works. And I know how much
the dancers love swimming in the Indian Ocean (we
do have the best metropolitan beaches in Australia).
What’s up next for The Australian Ballet?
I am really excited about the plans for next year – we
have a huge program to be rolled out in 2016 and
beyond. Unfortunately I can’t spill the beans yet,
but we will be announcing just before our visit to
Perth. I can say that we are once again part of the
international live streaming event World Ballet Day on
October 1, when we’ll kick off the 24-hour live event
alongside the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet of London,
National Ballet of Canada and the San Francisco
Ballet. I’m sure it’ll get people in Perth primed for
our season. Crown Theatre, Oct 7-10.
LORD OF THE DANCE
When it premiered in 1996, Lord of the Dance did the seemingly impossible – it made Irish dancing cool. Literally cashing
in on the momentum of global phenomenon Riverdance, star Michael Flatley delivered a sexy, sweaty antidote to the
style’s wholesome origins. And audiences still can’t get enough. The latest incarnation offers fresh staging, music and
choreography, performed by 40 of the world’s most elite Irish dancers. Flatley may have hung up his tap shoes and headed
behind the scenes, but his pulsating energy lives on. Crown Theatre, Sept 15-20 .
Full details and online bookings at scoop.com.au/dance
jazz classes, led by world
champion solo dancer
Remy Kouakou Kouame.
No partner or experience
required, so bust out
your boogie shoes and
burn up the floor! TBC,
WA A PA’s Link Dance
Company will perform
the Australian debut of
this thrilling triptych, set to
orchestral classic Bolero.
Initially separated, male
and female dancers come
together in the final act
for a work that contrasts
movement and stillness.
Fremantle Arts Centre,
The Sleeping Beauty
(photography Georges Antoni).
WA’s only same-sex dance
competition kicks off on
Halloween night, as part of
the 2015 Fremantle Festival.
An open dance event will
be held afterwards. Both
events are organised by
ballroom group OUTdance,
which runs weekly classes in
Mt Hawthorn for same-sex
couples and singles. Styles
include cha cha, Cuban
rumba, disco and barn
dance. Fremantle Town
Hall, Oct 31.
Marking the end of
WA A PA’s 2015 dance
season, Flourish celebrates
a range of styles, from
to classical. Second- and
third-year students will
perform new contemporary
works by acclaimed
choreographers Sue Healey
and Sue Peacock, and finish
with a restaging of technical
ballet Paquita. Geoff Gibbs
Theatre, Nov 14 & 16-21.
Perth’s latest ballet season
is all about fairytale heroines,
which wouldn’t be complete
without this rags-to-riches
classic. Just like the Fairy
Godmother, the WA Ballet
will cast a spell, enchanting
audiences of all ages.
Choreography by principal
dancer Jayne Smeulders.
His Majesty’s Theatre,
Nov 20-Dec 13.
Shanghai Bolero. RIGHT Flourish
(photography Jon Green Photography).
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