The Australian Ballet

Études / Circle Electric

Classical precision meets contemporary force

View performance times
  • Sydney / Warrang

    3 - 18 May 2024

  • Melbourne / Naarm

    2 - 9 October 2024

  • Duration

    127 minutes including 1 interval

Buy tickets for Études / Circle Electric



“It is the work of one of our most original, searching, risk-taking minds in dance.”

- Limelight


“The level of skill, especially in the male duets, is dizzyingly impressive… it leaves you breathless”

- ArtsHub

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Ako Kondo in Études
Photo Daniel Boud

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Cameron Holmes & Maxim Zenin in Circle Electric
Photo Daniel Boud


Harald Lander

Études, French for ‘studies’, takes the dancer’s morning ritual of ballet class and transforms it for the stage. Designed to gradually warm up muscles and align the body for rehearsals and performance, the classical ballet class follows a standard order of exercises that start small and gradually get bigger and more complex. These same movements, even the smallest pliés and tendus, are the building blocks from which classical ballets are constructed. Études illuminates these classroom exercises, demonstrating how these simple steps can become a fabulous showpiece of physical art.

Choreographed by Harald Lander in 1948 for the Royal Danish Ballet, this one-act ballet is set to piano studies by Carl Czerny, arranged by Knudåge Riisager. Emulating the ballet studio experience, the dancers perform precise exercises at the barre, which become more expansive as they move into the centre, and develop into a grand finale of full-velocity movement in perfect synchronisation. Complemented by spectacular new costumes from Lise Lander, Études will transform you to the inner world of the dance studio with its beauty, grace and immaculate movement.

"The leads – Ako Kondo, Chengwu Guo, and Joseph Caley with Jarryd Madden – demonstrate grace and technical flair"

Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald

Circle Electric

Stephanie Lake

Using the full force of The Australian Ballet's dancers, Circle Electric starts as a microscopic investigation of the intricate and the intimate, ultimately expanding to encompass a telescopic view of humanity.

Grappling with the search for meaning, Stephanie Lake in her first full length commission for The Australian Ballet, looks at a fundamental paradox of our existence – how we can be both utterly insignificant and profoundly important at the same time.

Zoom out far enough, and you will see humanity as nothing more than scuttling ants, existing on a perfectly placed planet in an immense cosmos of billions of galaxies. But zoom in and you see that despite our relative minuteness and the brevity of our time on Earth, each person is unique and valuable.

Working with her largest cast to date, Lake creates rhythms and patterns to composer Robin Fox’s unique score, which blends live orchestra with his signature electro-acoustic sound worlds, and reunites with the design team behind her hit piece Manifesto.

Please note Circle Electric contains strobe effects, a loud/dynamic soundtrack and theatrical haze.

“Principal artist Benedicte Bemet was glorious in her stillness in front of the pack; coryphée Adam Elmes was unforgettable in a brief but searing solo.”

★★★★ | Limelight

David Hallberg on Études and Circle Electric

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David Hallberg's insight on Études

Études is classicism at its most demanding. The precision and exactitude of the choreography doesn't allow for fault. This is a ballet that dancers dream of performing. Returning to its rightful place in The Australian Ballet’s repertoire after an absence of ten years, Études will excite audiences once again.”

David Hallberg's insight on Circle Electric

“Stephanie Lake has proven herself to be one of the most exciting Australian choreographers creating today. Her unique style and her use of movement, music and patterns have the dancers hungrily taking on her bold sense of choreography. Stephanie’s artistic energy emanates from her vision, bringing the audience pulsing along on her rollercoaster ride of dance.”

Synopsis and cast sheets

Select the location to view synopsis and cast sheets

Etudes Production Image

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

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Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

3177913 TAB Etudes Lander Joseph Caley Ako Kondo Chengwu Guo Credit Daniel Boud

Joseph Caley, Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo
Photo Daniel Boud

3176948 TAB Circle Electric Lake Credit Daniel Boud

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

323 Études TAB Sydney credit Daniel Boud 323

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

297 Circle Electric TAB Sydney credit Daniel Boud 297

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

232 Circle Electric TAB Sydney credit Daniel Boud 232

Artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Daniel Boud

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Production credits

Circle Electric

Choreography Stephanie Lake
Rehearsal director
Kimball Wong
Composer Robin Fox
Costume design Paula Levis
Set design
Charles Davis
Lighting design
Bosco Shaw

Circle Electric has been generously supported by The Kenneth R Reed Fund, The Robert and Elizabeth Albert Music Fund, and the Peggy van Praagh Fund for Australian Choreography.


Choreography Harald Lander
Staged by Johnny Eliasen
Guest Repetiteur Mark Kay
Music Knudåge Riisager after Carl Czerny
These performances of Études (after music by Carl Czerny) by Knudåge Riisager are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd of London.
Artistic advisor Lise Lander
Original lighting design Harald Lander
Lighting reproduced in 2024 by Francis Croese

Études has been generously supported by The Ballet Society, Victoria.


With Orchestra Victoria

With Opera Australia Orchestra

We thank our production partners

Season 2024

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