Season 2024 has been revealed. Explore the season.
Come with us as we explore the carefully curated 2024 season of exceptional artistry, ground-breaking new works and thrilling classical ballet. Featuring two works from renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon alongside traditional favourites and the brightest voices in contemporary dance, 2024 showcases the evolution of a company committed to bringing out the very best in ballet. Let us move you beyond words in 2024.
We last performed Christopher Wheeldon’s madcap, magical tale in 2017, delighting audiences across Australia. The fan favourite hit production based on Lewis Carroll’s fairy tale is magnificently theatrical and bursting with invention.
Featuring the Tony Award-winning team behind the musical An American in Paris, designer Bob Crowley will leave you spellbound by his ingenious designs, illusions and playful costumes that bring Wonderland to life in technicolour magic. Accompanied by Joby Talbot’s exhilarating melodies, this ‘dream team’ of creatives put the wonder in Wonderland.
Prepare for a fiery retelling of Spain’s most famous heroine. In 2024, The Australian Ballet is taking the seductive tale of obsession and passion to exhilarating new heights with Johan Inger’s contemporary retelling of Prosper Mérimée’s 1845 novella, Carmen. Set to French composer, Georges Bizet’s famous operatic score, Inger has created a version of the classic 19th century Spanish story unlike any other.
Premiering in 2015 with story Compañía Nacional de Danza, Inger’s innovative use of the voyeur draws the audience in and asks them to see the explosive story in a brand-new light. Stripped back to its elements, Inger’s Carmen looks at aggressive masculinity through the lens of a child showing the stark disparity between love, passion and violence.
Inger created fan favourite I Knew Then, which was performed at DanceX
in 2022 and we are beyond thrilled to perform the dark and gritty retelling of the Georges Bizet’s famous opera to The Australian Ballet’s repertoire for the first time.
Did you know: After its premiere in 1875, Carmen was critically panned and many believe the poor reception led to Bizet's early death at age 36. He died without knowing just how beloved his opera would become.
In a double bill that encompasses the entire spectrum of dance, The Australian Ballet is heading back to the classroom with classical precision of Études
before taking on the challenge of the world-premiere from one of Australia’s most dynamic and innovative choreographers, with Circle Electric from Stephanie Lake.
Artistic Director David Hallberg has a vision to support Australian talent, and as part of our 2024 season has commissioned one of the most exciting local choreographers in a full-length contemporary production, Circle Electric by Stephanie Lake. Lake last joined The Australian Ballet during our national tour presenting a taste of what was to come in 2024 with Circle Electric. Taking the concept of the 2023 work, the full-scale Circle Electric expands on the previous production to investigate the paradox of existence.
After a 12-year absence, we are delighted to be bringing Harald Lander’s 1948 peek behind the curtain Études, back into our repertoire as part of our eclectic double bill. Meaning ‘studies’ in French, Lander has created a ballet that moves from the classroom to the stage. Taking you behind the scenes and into the daily ritual of a dancer’s morning class, you can see the carefully designed series of exercises each dancer does to prepare for a performance. Études goes one step further, taking these pliés and tendus, transforming them into a magnificent showcase of physical excellence.
Premiering in 1948 when Lander was artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Études was a departure from the traditional narrative-driven ballets of their repertoire. After being introduced to abstract ballet by George Balanchine in the same year, Lander was confident to create the new work, simultaneously reinstating the style of mid-1800s Artistic Director August Bournonville with effortless jumps and quick footwork.
While the steps may seem uncomplicated at first, don’t be fooled, the perfect synchronization of each dancer is one of the most challenging aspects to this work as every movement is exposed. With a corps de ballet of 36 working in perfect unison behind the three principal artists, Etudes is a truly astounding piece of ballet perfectly designed to culminate in a grand finale of jumps and turns that move you from studio to stage in perfect synchronization.
Did you know: Harald Lander continued to revise Études until 1969 when it was filmed for Danish television.
Stephanie Lake has achieved worldwide acclaim with her productions of Colossus and Manifesto, touring to Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong and France. With Circle Electric, Lake is bringing her remarkable creativity and ingenuity back to her hometown of Melbourne alongside the design team behind Manifesto.
This team includes composer, Robin Fox, signature electro-acoustic soundscapes are blended with live orchestral works to create a score unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Starting at a microscopic level, Circle Electric investigates the intricacies of existence, from the smallest ant scuttling across the ground to the vast universe of which we have so much to learn.
Working with the largest cast yet, Lake will play with classic ballet lines and aesthetics, bringing her contemporary, unique flair to The Australian Ballet in 2024.
Did you know: In 2021, Colossus was the first performance at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris after the Covid-19 pandemic closed theatres for years. The choreography was taught to the French dancers completely over zoom.
After sold out seasons across Australia and the UK, George Balanchine’s beloved masterpiece Jewels, is heading to Adelaide to delight audiences with its shimmering beauty.
The three-act ‘plotless’ ballet inspired by Balanchine’s encounter at the Van Cleef & Arpels display window on Fifth Ave encompasses the choreographer’s genius in the three distinct jewels and moods.
Drawing on aspects from both Balanchine’s and ballet’s history, the soft and elegant Emeralds is set to French composer Gabriel Fauré’s mesmerising score. Luscious green skirts sweep across the floor in the Romantic-era-inspired first act. In complete opposition, Rubies is a fast-paced jazz-era styled piece borrowing elements from Broadway. Set to Igor Stravinsky’s music, Rubies incorporates the American showstopper style with high kicks and razor-sharp syncopated movements.
In a finale that harks back to Balanchine’s Russian roots, Diamonds is the crown jewel of the production. It’s impossible not to gasp at the reveal of the Company in Barbara Karinska’s breathtaking costumes. Set to Tschaicovsky’s composition, Diamonds is a grand affair reminiscent of the golden age of ballet.
Three strikingly different ballets in one magical evening. Whether you’re new to ballet or a seasoned balletomane, Jewels can be appreciated by all.
Did you know: Balanchine was initially going to choreograph a fourth act called Sapphires set to music by Schoenberg, but decided the colour wouldn’t translate well onto stage.
A full-length narrative ballet over two acts, Wilde’s poignant morality tale The Nightingale and The Rose and gothic masterpiece The Picture Of Dorian Gray act as literary anchors, but the main focus will be on the incredible triumphs and devastating tragedy of the man who paid the ultimate price for his honesty.
The second piece in our 2024 Season by Wheeldon, we are thrilled to present this world-premiere that blends realism with abstract, biography with fiction and recognises the sacrifice it takes to live honestly.
Did you know: Known for his razor-sharp wit, Oscar Wilde’s last words are reported to be: “my wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has got to go.”
Whether you’re a grinch or a Christmas fanatic, Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker will melt your heart and put you in a festive mood. Premiering in 1990 with The Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet first performed this piece during our 2007 season. Acknowledged as one of the most popular ballets of all time, The Nutcracker has a long history with The Australian Ballet. We currently have four versions of this classic fairy-tale in our repertoire, including Graeme Murphy’s uniquely Australian adaptation, Nutcracker – The Story of Clara that premiered in 2009.
Based on the story that first appeared in an 1816 book of short tales by German writer Ernst Theador Amadeus Hoffman under the title Nussknacker und Mauskönig (Nutcracker and the Mouse King), The Nutcracker made its ballet debut in 1892 in St Petersburg, Russia.
Sir Peter Wright's The Nutcracker is a fantastical tale that moves you from a stunning Edwardian house with a towering Christmas tree (that magically grows!) to the sparkling Land of Snow and the deliciously vivid Land of Sweets. Designed by John F Macfarlane, the set transformations are as magical as the Sugar Plum Fairy herself and will leave you believing in the magic of Christmas.
The story of Clara, a young girl who receives a gift of a nutcracker doll from her uncle, the magician Drosselmeyer. At the stroke of midnight, Clara’s doll comes to life, whisking her away to a visually stunning dreamland of vivid colours and glittering tutus. Rediscover the Christmas spirit with The Australian Ballet and the family-friendly favourite, The Nutcracker.
Did you know:The Nutcracker was the last ballet score written by Tchaikovsky.
The Australian Ballet also offers exclusive behind the scenes access, including conversations with our Artistic Director David Hallberg, tours of The Ballet Centre and post-show Q&As with the Step Inside program.
Melbourne Principal Packages on sale 28 November, Sydney Principal Packages on sale 3 October 2023.