The Australian Ballet

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Featuring The Australian Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Chunky Move, Karul Projects, Lucy Guerin Inc, Marrugeku, Queensland Ballet, and Sydney Dance Company.

  • Melbourne

    October – November 2022

Synopsis and cast sheet

DanceX was a three-part festival conceived and curated by The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg that will showcase the depth, range and diversity of the nation’s dance community. Thrilling audiences with brand new commissions, Australian premieres and excerpts from some of the most popular dance works of 2022.

DanceX includes works from: The Australian Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Chunky Move, Karul Projects, Lucy Guerin Inc, Marrugeku, Queensland Ballet, and Sydney Dance Company. These nine companies will perform the repertoire of their choice in 12 shows over three parts, gathering at Arts Centre Melbourne's Playhouse theatre. As well as initiating and presenting DanceX, The Australian Ballet commissioned two companies, Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc, to create brand new works.

Thank you to Arts Centre Melbourne for their generous support of DanceX.

Part One
The Australian Ballet I New Then
Sydney Dance Company ab[intra]
Lucy Guerin Inc How To Be Us*
Bangarra Dance Theatre Terrain

Part Two
The Australian Ballet I New Then
Queensland Ballet Glass Concerto
Karul Projects SILENCE

Part Three
Australian Dance Theatre The Third
Chunky Move AB_TA_Response*
The Australian Ballet Alice Topp Solstice and Lucas Jervies Imposter
Marrugeku Gudirr Gudirr

*Commissioned by The Australian Ballet

Watch the trailer

Dance X Video

David's insight

"Hosted by The Australian Ballet, DanceX welcomes varied interpretations and backgrounds from nine different companies, with two commissioned works specifically for the festival. We all support one another, but rarely under the same banner. This is the spirited embrace we are all craving after such a trying couple of years. Here we are in 2022, our collective resilience has seen us through. We now reunite through DanceX to embody what is most important in our lives…the beauty of movement."

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The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet performed in all three parts, presenting in Part One and Two the Australian premiere of Johan Inger’s comic, romantic dance theatre piece I New Then, set to songs by Van Morrison; Inger, a Swedish choreographer, danced with Nederlands Dans Theater and has made works for leading companies all over Europe. In Part Three, The Australian Ballet showcased two new works - Imposter from Lucas Jervies and Solstice from resident choreographer Alice Topp.

DX Aus Dance Theatre Jonathan VDK

Photograph by Jonathan VDK

Australian Dance Theatre

The Third

Daniel Riley’s The Third takes as its starting point mulunma – Inside Within his 2021 RISING: Melbourne commission which explores the relationship between the Western archive and a First Nations archive, each built on differing ideologies. The Third extends these concepts by looking at the body as an archive and how we hold memories personally and collectively.

DX Bangarra Dance Daniel Boud

Photograph by Daniel Boud

Bangarra Dance Theatre


Bangarra’s award-winning Terrain has returned for a 10th Anniversary Tour of Australia in 2022. Choreographed by Frances Rings, Terrain is a breathtaking exploration of our largest salt lake. . Excerpts from this iconic production evoke the power of body and land converging to bring spirit to place. Stand with us and feel the ancestral ties that bind people to Country: a rich cultural spine stretching through the generations. Watch the waters rise and fall as we reconnect with the energy of land and the resilient spirit of the people who care for its future.

DX Chunky Move Eva Otsing

Photography by Eva Otsing

Chunky Move

AB_TA_ Response

AB_TA_Response reimagines components of Antony Hamilton’s 2019 major work Token Armies. In Token Armies, a movement language is constructed from the dialogue between humans and material objects. Central to the choreographic research is a fascination with how tools and machines inform human movement. This involves looking at realities and fictions that consider past, present and future demands for cooperation between biological and technological systems.

DX Karul Simon Woods

Photography by Simon Woods

Karul Projects


Karul Projects will perform SILENCE, choreographed by Thomas E.S. Kelly. Through the beating of a drum, bodies thrash through white noise to continue a 250-year old struggle. The same questions echoed through generations. SILENCE pulls Treaty out from under the rug, slams it back on the table and, with riveting intent, invites you to the conversation.

DX Lucy Guerin Inc Gregory Lorenzutti

Photography by Gregory Lorenzutti

Lucy Guerin Inc

How To Be Us

How To Be Us considers ideas of co-operation and co-existence. Strict formal structures, mutual support, individual spontaneity and empathetic oneness are used to explore approaches to living with others. Integrating improvised movement created by each dancer and movement made for them by the choreographer, How To Be Us investigates questions of liberty through an approach to choreography that acknowledges our commonalities and differences. Lucy would like to thank Lilian and Samantha for their generous contributions to the making of this work.

DX Marrugeku Heidrun Lohr

Photography by Heidrun Lohr


Gudirr Gudirr

Gudirr Gudirr calls a warning, the guwayi bird calls when the tide is turning — to miss the call is to drown. An intimate solo dance and video work performed by Dalisa Pigram, daughter of Broome. By turns hesitant, restless, resilient and angry, Gudirr Gudirr lights a path from a broken past through a fragile present and on to a future still in the making.

Cultural and content warning: Gudirr Gudirr contains truth-telling about our history in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. This performance contains coarse language, depictions of violence, references to self-harm and youth suicide and is recommended for ages 15+. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised this performance contains the images of people who have passed away.

DX QLD Ballet David Kelly

Photography by David Kelly

Queensland Ballet

Glass Concerto

Glass Concerto, by renowned international choreographer Greg Horsman, showcases the speed and precision of the artists of Queensland Ballet. A technical feat of intricate choreography, watch in awe as the dancers capture the pulse and escalating intensity of the brilliance of Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto. A highlight of Queensland Ballet’s 2017 RAW season, this neo-classical masterpiece premièred at the 43rd Prix de Lausanne Gala in Switzerland. This distinctive work is a collage of sublime movement and kinetic energy, an assemblage of dynamic and emotional movement that will captivate and inspire audiences.

DX Syd Dance Company Pedro Greig

Sydney Dance Company

ab [intra]

ab [intra], meaning ‘from within’ in Latin is “an exploration of our primal instincts, our impulses and our visceral responses” (Rafael Bonachela). From tenderness to turmoil, ab [intra] is a journey through the intensity of human existence that will command your attention. Composed by Nick Wales, the music fuses lush cello with ambient electronica as the exquisite dancers occupy a visually arresting ethereal world.

Discover more

Production credits


The Australian Ballet I New Then

Choreography and set design Johan Inger
Music Van Morrison
Lighting design
Tom Visser
Costume design Bregje van Balen
(World Premiere 23 February 2012, Lucent Danstheater, The Hague, the Netherlands, Nederlands Dans Theater 2)

The Australian Ballet Solstice

Choreography Alice Topp
Music Luke Howard
Lighting design
Jon Buswell
Costumes Alice Topp

The Australian Ballet Imposter

Choreography and Design Concepts Lucas Jervies
Composition Matthew Hindson
Lighting design
Jon Buswell

Australian Dance Theatre The Third

Conceived & Directed by Daniel Riley
Daniel Riley with Australian Dance Theatre’s Company Artists
Performed by
Australian Dance Theatre’s Company Artists
James Howard
Lighting Designer
Chris Petridis
Daniel Riley & Enoki
Denni Francisco – Ngali

Bangarra Dance Theatre Terrain

Choreography Frances Rings
David Page
Set Designer Jacob Nash
Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer Karen Norris
Cultural Consultant Arabunna Elder Reginald Dodd

Chunky Move AB_TA_ Response

Choreography Antony Hamilton
Performers Amber McCartney, Kyall Shanks and Tra Mi Dinh
Nikki Tarling
Costume design
Paula Levis
Video design
Robin Fox
Original design and fabrication
Creature Technology Co.
Original concept art Peter Gregory
Additional design and fabrication
Antony Hamilton and Blair Hart

Karul Projects SILENCE

Choreographer / Writer / Performer Thomas E.S. Kelly
Rehearsal Director / Performer Taree Sansbury
Choreographic Dramaturg
Vicki Van Hout
Dramaturg Alethea Beetson
Performers Amber Nofal, Benjin Maza, Kiara Malcolm-Bodel, Tiana Pinnell
Percussion Composer / Performer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie
Music / Sound Designer Sam Pankhurst
Lighting Designer Karen Norris
Costume Designer
Selene Cochrane

Lucy Guerin Inc How To Be Us

Choreographer Lucy Guerin with the dancers
Dancers Samantha Hines and Lilian Steiner
Lighting Designer Paul Lim
Composer Katerina Stathis
Costume Designer Geoffrey Watson
Executive Producer Brendan O’Connell
Estelle Conley

Marrugeku Gudirr Gudirr

Concept, Performer & Co-choreographer Dalisa Pigram
Director & Co-choreographer Koen Augustijnen
Set Designer & Video Artist Vernon Ah Kee
Costume Designer Stephen Curtis
Composer & Sound Designer Sam Serruys
Singer & Songwriter Stephen Pigram
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Concept & Cultural Adviser Patrick Dodson
Dramaturg & Creative Producer Rachael Swain
Video Production Sam James

Sydney Dance Company ab [intra]

Choreography Rafael Bonachela
Original score by
Nick Wales featuring Klātbūtne by Pēteris Vasks
Lighting design Damien Cooper
Costume and set design David Fleischer

Queensland Ballet Glass Concerto

Choreography Greg Horsman
Music Violin Concerto by Philip Glass
Recorded by Wiener Philharmoniker
Conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi
Costume design George Wu
Lighting design Cameron Goerg

We thank our production partner