Seven Deadly Sins, Ballet-Style

Posted on 21 October 2020 By Rose Mulready

With Hallowe’en coming up, it’s time for a teeny touch of darkness! Stroll this rogue’s gallery of ballet characters who definitely have a little devil on their shoulder. 


The Stepmother in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella is like a stormy weather front, erupting in squalls and lightning strikes. We first see her laying into her hairdresser, then pummelling her husband out of the house and kicking Cinderella's treasured portrait of her dead mother to shreds. And that's just in Act I! Approach with caution ... 

Jasmin Durham. Photography Daniel Boud


When it comes to blind fury, the Queen of Hearts in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland© could give Cinderella's Stepmother a neck-and-neck run for her money (although probably best not to mention necks around this axe-happy despot). However, when it comes to deadly sins, she's a bit of an all-rounder, with a particular penchant for tart-guzzling gluttony. 

Nathan Brook, Nicola Curry and Joe Chapman. Photography James Braund


Few ballet characters sizzle up the stage like Carmen and Don José in Roland Petit's Carmen. But a few nights is all they'll have: Carmen has a flinty heart and a roving eye, and José's insanely jealous. A bad combination, as it turns out. 

Lucette Aldous and Rudy Brians. Photography The Australian Ballet archive


The worldly, world-weary Onegin in John Cranko's ballet is unmoved when naive Titania writes him a letter declaring her love. He haughtily rejects her, even tearing the letter up before her eyes. You know what they say about pride and falls ... before the end of this story, Onegin will be on his knees begging Titania to love him. 

Adam Bull and Amber Scott. Photography Lynette Wills


Five minutes after getting out of bed with her beloved, Kenneth Macmillan's Manon meets a man who waves some diamonds in her face. And just like that, she's off. Her taste for the high life brings her morally low, but it's her love for that guy she just can't forget that really gets her into trouble. 

Amber Scott. Photography Lynette Wills


What's lazier than sleeping for 100 years? At least the Princess Auora in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty has a deluxe glass boudoir in which to dream away a century. 

Lana Jones. Photography Daniel Boud


As in the classic Snow White folktale, the Queen in Natalie Weir's Mirror Mirror is eaten up with jealousy that her young stepdaughter is more beautiful than she. Cue some scary work with mirror fragments ... 

Sarah Peace and Nicole Rhodes. Photography Chris Budgeon