The Australian Ballet

The Creatures of Sylvia

1280 x 550 105 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

As well as gods and goddesses, you’ll meet some strange beasts as you experience Sylvia. Marvellously dressed in Jérôme Kaplan's designs, they cavort around and through this majestic ballet. Fauns and river gods and bears, oh my!


The four fauns in Sylvia are much more than curios. With bounding leaps and shimmies of their fringed legs, they circle round the action of the three intertwining stories, stitching together the narrative and amplifying the emotions of the main characters. They are comedic relief, Greek chorus and deus ex machina - carrying out the gods' mischief, freaking out the mortals and in general having way too much fun.

Nymph into Bear

It's only for a moment, but yes, there's a bear on the ballet stage, and it's a whole lot of happy for everyone - except the nymph Callisto, who's been transformed into bear form by Artemis as punishment for tricking the goddess into killing her best friend. With Artemis' hunting dogs around, we sense all will not end well for Callisto the Bear.

600 x 800 039 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

Cameron Holmes, Yichuan Wang, Benedicte Bemet, Drew Hedditch and Shaun Andrews. Photography Jeff Busby

600 x800 009 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

Shaun Andrews. Photography Jeff Busby

600 x 800 025 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

Robyn Hendricks. Photography Jeff Busby

River God

When Sylvia, bewitched by a love spell, shucks her armour and starts making eyes at a rather surprised Shepherd, the brutal River God Alpheus seizes his chance to abduct her. Part gladiator, part tiger shark, part Creature from the Black Lagoon, he and his gilled and frilled gang make a frightening display, but in the end they're no match for the warrior nymph.

600 x 800 099 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

Benedicte Bemet and Andrew Killian. Photography Jeff Busby

600 x 800 032 TAB SYLVIA photo Jeff Busby

Timothy Coleman. Photography Jeff Busby