5 reasons you need to see Verve

Posted on 26 September 2017 By Rose Mulready

Put some Verve in your year with this program of contemporary works by choreographers from within The Australian Ballet's ranks. Three distinct minds, three distinct moods, and one evening you'll never forget. Oh, and five reasons why Verve will blow your mind.


The sleeper hit of our 20:21 season, Filigree and Shadow wowed audiences with its intricate, high-energy movement, aggressive edge and stark design. It's set to a growl of electronic music by the German duo 48nord, and was born from an intensive, solitary studio process during which Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour banked hours of movement phrases and explored cathartic emotions.

Andrew Killian and Vivienne Wong. Photography Jeff Busby


Resident Choreographer Stephen Baynes is renowned for his lyrical, neoclassical style and intense musicality. Constant Variants, set to Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, is an ensemble piece set in the glowing frames of Michael Pearce's décor. We love this peak moment from its pas de trois.

Nathan Brook, Ako Kondo and Brett Simon. Photography Jeff Busby


Newly appointed Resident Choreographer Alice Topp wowed the Verve crowd in its Melbourne season with the world premiere of her heartfelt work Aurum, featuring a stunning design inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi and set to flowing music by Ludovico Einaudi. Critics and audiences raved.

Andrew Killian and Robyn Hendricks. Photography Jeff Busby


As well as featuring three Australian choreographers, Verve will showcase an all-Australian line-up of designers, including The Australian Ballet's own masterful lighting designer Jon Buswell (Constant Variants, Little Atlas), frequent Baynes collaborator Michael Pearce (Constant Variants), renowned architect Kelvin Ho (Filigree and Shadow) and the veteran lighting designer Benjamin Cisterne, whose stinging washes of white and green light add to the electric atmosphere of Filigree and Shadow.

Brett Chynoweth, Marcus Morelli and Shaun Andrews in Filigree and Shadow. Photography Jeff Busby


Story ballets are wonderful ... but abstract ballets are a different kind of wonderful. Without any obligation to follow a narrative or grasp what's going on, you can lean back and enjoy the music, the design, the physicality of the dancers ... and whatever interpretation or association arises in your own mind.

Leanne Stojmenov and Kevin Jackson. Photography James Braund