Celebration Gala Melbourne

Cast sheet

Melbourne

WELCOME TO OUR CELEBRATION GALA

We're so excited to be presenting our Celebration Gala for you at Arts Centre Melbourne. Read on to see who'll be dancing in your performance and find out a little about the ballets. Thank you for your support of The Australian Ballet, and enjoy the show! 

  • RUNNING ORDER AND CREDITS

    SERENADE
    Choreography George Balanchine
    © The George Balanchine Trust
    Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op.48
    Costume design Barbara Karinska

    INTERVAL

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE
    Choreography and costume design William Forsythe
    Music Eva Crossman-Hecht

    LA FAVORITA
    Choreography Petal Miller-Ashmole
    Music Gaetano Donizetti
    Costume design The Australian Ballet Costume Workshop

    Pas de deux from Act II of
    THE MERRY WIDOW

    Choreography Ronald Hynd
    Music Franz Lehár
    Based on the operetta by Victor Léon and Leo Stein
    Arranged and orchestrated by John Lanchbery
    Costume design Desmond Heeley
    Presented by arrangement with GLOCKEN VERLAG LIMITED

    Excerpt from WATERMARK
    Choreography Pam Tanowitz
    Choreographer’s Assistant Melissa Toogood
    Music Caroline Shaw Watermark
    Costume design Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme (Reid & Harriet)

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Choreography after Marius Petipa
    Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Costume design Hugh Colman

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Choreography Wayne McGregor
    Music Joby Talbot Transit of Venus
    Costume design Moritz Junge

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act I of THE NUTCRACKER
    Choreography Peter Wright
    Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Costume design John F. Macfarlane

    Lighting design for Celebration Gala: Graham Silver

  • ABOUT THE BALLETS

    SERENADE
    The tableau that begins Serenade is one of the most memorable and beautiful in all ballet. Rows of women in long pale-blue tutus stand with one hand upraised, as if in invocation. At its premiere, Serenade was performed in the open air, and it still somehow retains that atmosphere; George Balanchine, its choreographer, called it “a dance … in the light of the moon.”

    For such a poetic work, Serenade had prosaic beginnings. Balanchine, newly arrived in America, had opened the School of American Ballet as the first step towards establishing the company that would become the renowned New York City Ballet. Serenade grew out of his classes on stage technique, which he gave to impress on his students the difference between class and performance.

    Balanchine created the ballet with a loose, flowing method that welcomed the vagaries of chance. In his first class, there were 17 women and no men. He arranged the dancers in the diagonal rows of the opening tableau; later, he said that he was reminded of the way that trees were planted in California’s orange groves. In subsequent classes, he would take what dancers he had – nine the second day, six the third – and go on choreographing, moving with the flow of the music, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. When boys joined the class, they
    were incorporated. When a girl came late to class, or when another fell during an exit and began to cry, these incidents were folded into the choreography. It was as if Balanchine were inviting fate to take a hand in his creation. Certainly, he felt a sense of guidance: “When I was doing Serenade,” he said, “Tchaikovsky encouraged me. Almost the whole Serenade is done with his help.”

    Later, when asked about Serenade, Balanchine would say, “I was just trying to teach my students some little lessons and make a ballet that wouldn’t show how badly they danced.” In fact, he created a masterwork that synthesised the spiritual traditions and techniques of his Russian heritage with a fresh, modern, fluid style. It is danced by schools and companies around the world, and is Balanchine’s most-performed ballet.

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE
    In his four decades as the director of Frankfurt Ballet, the American-born William Forsythe did more than any choreographer since George Balanchine to evolve and electrify classical ballet. Artifact Suite is a pure-dance distillation of a larger work, Artifact, which employed elements of theatre – spoken word, historically costumed figures that wove through the scenes – to open up and comment on the structures of classical dance. In this excerpt from Artifact Suite, a figure known as the Other Person gestures semaphorically to a large ensemble of dancers, who copy her movements. The dizzying complexity of this group unison evokes both the discipline of the classical corps de ballet and mass displays of power like military parades. As the dancer writer Roslyn Sulcas says, the corps de ballet is “seen here as a kind of machine, with ballet as its precision tool.”

    LA FAVORITA
    This exuberant pas de deux was especially created for David McAllister and Elizabeth Toohey, who shared a long partnership, first as dancers and then as Artistic Director and Ballet
    Mistress of The Australian Ballet. The beloved party piece has featured in gala programs to farewell Artistic Director Maina Gielgud, celebrate Australia’s Bicentennial and showcase the company on its 50th Anniversary tour to NewYork; now it takes its place in another ofthe company's historical occasions, our Celebration Gala.

    Pas de deux from Act II of The Merry Widow 
    The Merry Widow is one of The Australian Ballet’s most beloved productions, and for many years was its signature piece on international tours. Ronald Hynd choreographed this heady version of Franz Lehár's beloved operetta, a tangled tale of lovers separated and finally, delightfully, united. In this scene Hanna, the Widow of the title, holds a party at her Parisian house for the staff of the Pontevedrian embassy. The Ambassador’s much younger wife, Valencienne, and the French attaché, Camille, have been fighting their feelings for one another. In the privacy of Hanna’s garden, they succumb to their passion and share a rapturous moment together.

    Excerpt from WATERMARK
    am Tanowitz’s Watermark was Artistic Director David Hallberg’s first commission for The Australian Ballet. It would sit alongside Serenade as part of the New York Dialects triple bill in 2021. Hallberg gave Tanowitz, a New-York based contemporary choreographer, only one suggestion about the work: that she should gender-reverse the casting of Serenade, which uses three men and a corps of women, and use that configuration in Watermark. Rather than feature the three women dancers, Tanowitz found it more interesting to incorporate them and have the whole ensemble dancing on an equal footing, in jazz shoes and white jumpsuits.

    On choreographing for ballet companies, rather than her own contemporary troupe, Tanowitz has said, “I’m always questioning things that ballet dancers take for granted, like the tendu. I think everything, from codified steps to the way you present things, is all up for grabs. I like pushing things into the wings, I like pushing things down past the light line. I think a pas de bourre and a kick-ball change and a box step and a pas de chat have equal validity.” Working with Caroline Shaw’s Watermark, both a tribute to and a deconstruction of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, Tanowitz plays with the language of dance.

    The Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE 
    The famous Black Swan Pas de deux is taken from Act III of Swan Lake. The seductive Odile, daughter of the evil magician von Rothbart, poses as Odette and tricks Prince Siegfried
    into betraying his true-love vow. Odile’s glittering, dazzling movement – culminating in a series of 32 fouetté turns – is sharply contrasted with the gentle softness of Odette. This
    dramatic pas de deux has been a showpiece for generations of leading dancers.

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    In 2006, Wayne McGregor took the ballet world by storm when he created the explosive Chroma for The Royal Ballet. Soon afterwards, he was appointed the company’s resident choreographer, and began to skew, stretch and accelerate classical ballet technique. Chroma remains a distillation of his hyperextended, staccato movement language, but in this pas de deux, set to Joby Talbot’s meditative Transit of Venus, he explores a more languorous style.

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act I of The Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker is the most intimate and charming of Tchaikovsky’s three ballets, moving from a family Christmas party to a child’s journey through magical realms. At the end of the first act, Clara has just rescued her Nutcracker Prince from a horde of wicked rats. In gratitude, he invites her to travel with him to his home, the Land of Sweets. Along the way they pass through wintery lands and are swept up in the joyous, swirling Dance of the Snowflakes, its swift and complex patterns showcasing the artistry of the corps de ballet and evoking the intricacy of ice crystals.

  • Wednesday 8 December 7pm DRESS REHEARSAL

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 10pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang

    SERENADE 
    Valerie Tereshchenko  Jade Wood  Amy Harris  
    Ty King-Wall  Jarryd Madden
    Dana Stephensen  Sara Andrlon  Katherine Sonnekus  Sharni Spencer 
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton

    LA FAVORITA 
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Pas de deux from Act II of THE MERRY WIDOW
    Jade Wood  Marcus Morelli

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Karen Nanasca  Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Chengwu Guo
    Snow Fairy Imogen Chapman
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Thursday 9 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Sulki Yu

    SERENADE 
    Sharni Spencer  Benedicte Bemet  Valerie Tereshchenko
    Christopher Rodgers-Wilson  Ty King-Wall
    Riley Lapham  Rina Nemoto  Ingrid Gow  Jacqueline Clark 
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Kylie Foster

    LA FAVORITA 
    Aya Watanabe  Chengwu Guo 

    Pas de deux from Act II of THE MERRY WIDOW
    Sharni Spencer  Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Imogen Chapman  Cristiano Martino 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Jill Ogai
    The Nutcracker Prince Ty King-Wall 
    Snow Fairy Rina Nemoto
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Friday 10 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang 

    SERENADE 

    Valerie Tereshchenko  Amy Harris  Jade Wood  
    Ty King-Wall  Jarryd Madden
    Riley Lapham  Katherine Sonnekus  Ingrid Gow  Jacqueline Clark 
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    LA FAVORITA 
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Karen Nanasca  Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Chengwu Guo
    Snow Fairy Imogen Chapman
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Saturday 11 December 1.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 3.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Sulki Yu 

    SERENADE 

    Amy Harris  Dana Stephensen  Imogen Chapman
    Callum Linnane  Jarryd Madden 
    Riley Lapham  Rina Nemoto  Katherine Sonnekus  Jacqueline Clark
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Kylie Foster 

    LA FAVORITA 
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Karen Nanasca  Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Chengwu Guo
    Snow Fairy Dana Stephensen 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Saturday 11 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Simon Thew
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang

    SERENADE 
    Sharni Spencer  Benedicte Bemet  Valerie Tereshchenko  
    Christopher Rodgers-Wilson  Ty King-Wall
    Riley Lapham  Katherine Sonnekus  Ingrid Gow  Jacqueline Clark 
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    LA FAVORITA 
    Aya Watanabe  Chengwu Guo 

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Karen Nanasca   Christopher Rodgers-Wilson

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Jill Ogai
    The Nutcracker Prince Ty King-Wall 
    Snow Fairy Rina Nemoto
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Monday 13 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Simon Thew
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang 

    SERENADE 

    Amy Harris  Dana Stephensen  Imogen Chapman   
    Callum Linnane  Jarryd Madden
    Riley Lapham  Ingrid Gow  Sara Andrlon  Jacqueline Clark
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Jill Ogai and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Kylie Foster

    LA FAVORITA 
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Imogen Chapman  Cristiano Martino 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Jill Ogai
    The Nutcracker Prince Christopher Rodgers-Wilson 
    Snow Fairy Dana Stephensen 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Tuesday 14 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Simon Thew
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang

    SERENADE 

    Valerie Tereshchenko  Amy Harris  Dana Stephensen
    Nathan Brook  Jarryd Madden
    Riley Lapham  Ingrid Gow  Katherine Sonnekus  Sharni Spencer
    with artists of The Australian Ballet

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    LA FAVORITA 
    Aya Watanabe  Chengwu Guo

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Imogen Chapman  Cristiano Martino 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Christopher Rogers-Wilson
    Snow Fairy Dana Stephensen 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Wednesday 15 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Sulki Yu

    SERENADE 
    Amy Harris  Imogen Chapman  Benedicte Bemet
    Callum Linnane  Cristiano Martino 
    Riley Lapham  Ingrid Gow  Katherine Sonnekus  Jacqueline Clark
    with artists of The Australian Ballet 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Jill Ogai and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Kyie Foster 

    LA FAVORITA
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth 

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Jill Ogai  Jarryd Madden 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Christopher Rodgers-Wilson 
    Snow Fairy Imogen Chapman 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Thursday 16 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9,40pm

    Conductor: Simon Thew 
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang 

    SERENADE 

    Valerie Tereshchenko  Dana Stephensen  Amy Harris 
    Ty King-Wall  Jarryd Madden
    Riley Lapham  Katherine Sonnekus  Ingrid Gow  Sharni Spencer
    with artists of The Australian Ballet

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet
    Piano: Kylie Foster

    LA FAVORITA 
    Aya Watanabe and Chengwu Guo

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Imogen Chapman  Cristiano Martino 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Jill Ogai 
    The Nutcracker Prince Ty King-Wall 
    Snow Fairy Dana Stephensen 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Friday 17 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Sulki Yu

    SERENADE 
    Sharni Spencer  Benedicte Bemet  Valerie Tereshchenko
    Christopher Rodgers-Wilson  Ty King-Wall

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton

    LA FAVORITA 
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Jill Ogai  Jarryd Madden 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe 
    The Nutcracker Prince Chengwu Guo
    Snow Fairy Imogen Chapman 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Saturday 18 December 1.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 3.40pm

    Conductor: Simon Thew 
    Concertmaster: Yi Wang

    SERENADE 

    Amy Harris  Dana Stephensen  Imogen Chapman 
    Callum Linnane  Cristiano Martino 

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Jill Ogai and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Kylie Foster 

    LA FAVORITA
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth 

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Stefan Cassomenos

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Sharni Spencer  Callum Linnane 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Jill Ogai  Jarryd Madden 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Aya Watanabe
    The Nutcracker Prince Christopher Rodgers-Wilson 
    Snow Fairy Imogen Chapman 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet 

  • Saturday 18 December 7.30pm

    This performance has one 25-minute interval and will end at approximately 9.40pm

    Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon
    Concertmaster: Sulki Yu

    SERENADE 
    Sharni Spencer  Benedicte Bemet  Valerie Tereshchenko 
    Christopher Rodgers-Wilson  Ty King-Wall

    Excerpt from ARTIFACT SUITE 
    Coco Mathieson and artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    LA FAVORITA 
    Aya Watanabe  Chengwu Guo

    Excerpt from WATERMARK 
    Artists of The Australian Ballet 
    Piano: Duncan Salton 

    Black Swan Pas de deux from SWAN LAKE
    Benedicte Bemet  Brett Chynoweth 

    Pas de deux from CHROMA
    Imogen Chapman  Cristiano Martino 

    Dance of the Snowflakes from Act II of THE NUTCRACKER
    Clara Jill Ogai 
    The Nutcracker Prince Ty King-Wall 
    Snow Fairy Dana Stephensen 
    With artists of The Australian Ballet