The Australian Ballet

Give today. Our future shines even brighter with your support

Swanning out of 2023

2907849 TAB Swan Lake Hallberg Benedicte Bemet Credit Daniel Boud 1

Principal Artist Benedicte Bemet, Swan Lake (Hallberg) 2023
Photo Daniel Boud

2023 was always going to be a milestone year for The Australian Ballet. Not only did we celebrate our 60th birthday, but we danced 158 mainstage performances, travelled throughout Australia with our National Tour and returned to international touring for the first time since 2019. Behind Ballet looks back at some of the biggest moments of 2023.

230224 BUTS Kate Longley 120 1

Principal Artists Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux (Petipa), Ballet Under the Stars 2023
Photo Kate Longley

Ballet Under the Stars

The year begins with a free, all ages event at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Thousands of audience members brave the Melbourne weather to enjoy an evening of live music and ballet. The program features a sneak peek into the 2023 season with an excerpt from Don Quixote alongside some of our favourite pieces of repertoire including Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, I New Then and The Vow.

Aus Ballet Don Qsyd Photo Rainee Lantrycast1 22 1

Principal Artist Benedicte Bemet and Marcus Morelli, Don Quixote, 2023
Photo Rainee Lantry

Don Quixote

We pay homage to our rich history and delve into the archives to carefully restore Rudolf Nureyev’s 1973 film Don Quixote. Originally filmed in an airplane hangar in Melbourne and featuring The Australian Ballet dancers, the film changed how ballet was presented on film.

To compliment Nureyev's choreography, set designer Richard Roberts went back to Barry Kay's vivid designs from the 1970s to bring the luscious and vivid colours of Spain to the stage.

Sylvie BTS 158 FINAL Film

Sylvie Guillem
Photo Pierre Toussaint

Sylvie Guillem

World-renowned dancer Sylvie Guillem joined The Australian Ballet as a Guest Coach on Don Quixote in her first official engagement since retiring at the stroke of midnight on 1 January 2016. Sylvie returns later in the year to offer her wisdom and artistic guidance for Swan Lake.

150 The Hum Identity TAB Sydney credit Daniel Boud 1

Zachary Lopez and Lilla Harvey, The Hum (Riley) 2023
Photo Daniel Boud


In a thrilling double bill of two world-premieres, The Australian Ballet performs Identity featuring The Hum by Daniel Riley and Paragon by Alice Topp.

Former artists and alumni of The Australian Ballet join the current company on stage in Alice Topp’s Paragon in an emotional production that pays homage to our remarkable history and ongoing impact to the arts industry in Australia and the world.

Australian Dance Theatre bring their immense talent and flair to The Australian Ballet in a world-first collaboration between the two companies with Daniel Riley’s The Hum. This unique production features costumes and adornments constructed from native materials by Indigenous creatives.

Unbroken Knowledge: weaving a story through THE HUM’s adornments.
“Sylvie made you feel very comfortable to be risky; to try new things and to play around with the craft.” — Senior Artist, Jill Ogai, on work­ing with Sylvie Guillem
230625 Adam Bull Kate Longley 154 1

Principal Artist Adam Bull, Paragon (Topp) 2023
Phot Kate Longley

Adam Bull retires

After an incredible career spanning 22 years, Adam Bull takes his final bow at the closing performance of Paragon, gleefully throwing his ballet shoes into the audience!

Ausballet Jewels Sydney photo Raineelantry 171 2

Principal; Artists Brett Chynoweth and Ako Kondo, Jewels (Balanchine) 2023
Photo Rainee Lantry


For the first time, The Australian Ballet is entrusted with George Balanchine’s glittering ballet, Jewels. The hundreds of costumes that include thousands of hand sewn beads are painstakingly constructed with the generous support of the Country Women’s Association and Embroiderers Guild.

It’s a rhinestone world: Behind the scenes with the volunteers helping to create the costumes for Jewels.
“It will be hard to imagine another company performing Balanchine’s masterpiece more brilliantly.” — Lime­light
230714 Giselle Kate Longley 576 1

Artists of The Tokyo Ballet, Giselle (Lavrovsky) 2023
Photo Kate Longley


In July, we continued our tradition of sharing our stage with exceptional international guests, welcoming The Tokyo Ballet to Australia for the first time. Under the artistic direction of Yukari Saito, the company performed Leonid Lavrovsky's hauntingly beautiful Giselle to mesmerised Melbourne audiences.

Jewels Australian Ballet ROH 121 2

Artists of The Australian Ballet and Company, Royal Opera House, 2023
Photo Unknown

International Tour

For the first time in 35 years, The Australian Ballet performed on the hallowed stage of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Sold out audiences filled the theatre for five performances of George Balanchine’s Jewels, culminating in a grand finale and 60th anniversary gala celebration featuring some of our favourite repertoire.

2848122 TAB Swan Lake Hallberg Ako Kondo Chengwu Guo Artists of TAB Credit Kate Longley 1

Principal Artists Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo, Swan Lake (Hallberg)
Photo Kate Longley

Swan Lake

The centrepiece of our 60th anniversary season, the beloved version of Anne Woolliams’ Swan Lake under the direction of Artistic Director David Hallberg, is brought to life thrilling audiences across Australia. The production is the hottest ticket in town, and the entire season sells out across Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney prior to opening night!

“Returning to the Royal Opera House, the company's sparkling take on Balanchine's ballet makes you feel as if you're in the presence of dancing royalty.” — Mar­i­an­ka Swain, The Telegraph

Elena Salerno and Sophie Wormald performing The Story of Pomi and Gobba at Buninyong Primary School, Dubbo 2023


The Education and Outreach team delivered over 400 dance workshops to five states and territories, and over 30 workshops of Romeo & Juliet and The Story of Pomi and Gobba to over 13,000 participants.

TAB Sydney Wings Dream Webres Crodgerswilson 161 1

Aya Watanabe and Luke Marchant, The Dream (Ashton) 2023
Photo Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

The Dream/Marguerite and Armand

The company performs a Frederick Ashton double bill. We revisit Fairyland in The Dream and perform Marguerite and Armand for the very first time.

Looking forward to 2024 we are excited to be bringing audiences another year of the very best in ballet. It will be a year of incredible collaborations, family favourites and change as we move into the historic Regent Theatre while our beloved home of the State Theatre begins its three-year upgrade that will transform the Melbourne Arts precinct.

We can’t wait to share another season of ballet with you in 2024.

“We’re only just getting started.” — Artis­tic Direc­tor, David Hallberg

To learn more about Season 2024

2024 Season Packages