Season 2024 has been revealed. Explore the season.
Swanning out of 2023
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.
06 Dec 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Amber Scott retires
At the end of the Melbourne season of Swan Lake, and after an extraordinary 22-year career, Amber Scott danced the role of Odette/Odile one last time to enraptured audiences.
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.
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.
Amy Harris retires
Principal Artist Amy Harris takes on the role made famous by Margot Fonteyn in Marguerite and Armand, taking her final bow for The Australian Ballet after 22-years with the company at the end of the Sydney season.
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