The Australian Ballet

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Études / Circle Electric

A double bill of classical and contemporary works

View performance times
  • Sydney / Warrang

    3 - 18 May 2024

  • Melbourne / Naarm

    2 - 9 October 2024

2 - 9 October 2024

Regent Theatre, Melbourne/ Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Country

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In an entrancing double bill that encompasses varying styles of dance, we are delighted to be presenting Études, a beloved classic that shows you the complexity of ballet technique, alongside a spectacular new contemporary commission, Circle Electric by Stephanie Lake. These two works demonstrate the preparation and dedication of ballet dancers as they advance from the studio to the stage in a thrilling display of talent and emotion.

A ballerina stands silhouetted en pointe holding a barre, arm extended in arabesque to the sky against a blue background.

Sharni Spencer
Photo Simon Eeles

A male dancer’s dark silhouette against a blue background, in a lunge with one arm reaching in front and behind his torso.

Callum Linnane
Photo Simon Eeles


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.

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.

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.”

A dancer dressed in black dress holds her foot above her knee in a semi-squat position, the image is black and white against a light grey background.

Samara Merrick
Photo Simon Eeles

A man in white pants holds another dancer dressed in black dress, above his chest as he sways with movement.

Samara Merrick and Maxim Zenin
Photo Simon Eeles

A group of mixed dancers stand side by side on a dark stage.

Sandra Andrlon, Maxim Zenin, Lilla Harvey, Cameron Holmes, Samara Merrick, Hugo Dumapit
Photo Peter Foster

A topless male dancer with white pants on lays on the stage floor, his female counterpart in grey dress kneels beside him.

Maxim Zenin, Samara Merrick
Photo Peter Foster

Two male dancers leap around a third dancer in the middle of the stage, holding the hands of this central figure.

Cameron Holmes, Maxim Zenin, Hugo Dumapit
Photo Peter Foster

Two dancers sit entwined on stage, one has her mouth opened appearing to be yelling, the other blissfully unaware.

Samara Merrick, Sara Andrlon
Photo Peter Foster

A shirtless male dancer in white pants carries his female counterpart in grey dress across stage, holding her on his shoulder.

Samara Merrick, Maxim Zenin
Photo Peter Foster

Production credits


Choreography Harald Lander by special permission of Lise Lander
Music Knudåge Riisager after Carl Czerny
Designs Lise Lander

Circle Electric

Choreography Stephanie Lake
Music Robin Fox
Costume design Paula Levis
Set design
Charles Davis
Lighting design
Bosco Shaw


With Orchestra Victoria

With Opera Australia Orchestra

We thank our production partners

Season 2024

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The silhouettes of three Australian Ballet artists stand en pointe, holding the barre with one hand as they elongate the other.

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