The Australian Ballet


TAB2022 334 22 WEB CM Production Header52500x1780

A long-lost comedy from the creator of Swan Lake

  • Duration

    100 mins / 1 Interval

TAB HARLEQUINADE 2022 photo Jeff Busby 1782 1
“Harlequinade is a confectionary delight”

Clas­sic Melbourne

Photography by Jeff Busby

A lively love story based on commedia dell’arte, Harlequinade was created in 1900 by Marius Petipa, who choreographed some of classical ballet’s most enduring works, including Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Working with the original notation of Petipa’s choreography, Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi Ballet and artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, has produced a loving and humorous revival.

Harlequin and Columbine are in love, but her father, who wants her to marry a rich buffoon, has her locked up by Pierrot, his loyal servant. Pierrot’s wife, sympathetic to the young couple, helps her escape, and a Good Fairy gives Harlequin a magical slap stick that helps him triumph over the odds and win Columbine’s hand in marriage.

The melodic, lilting score is by Riccardo Drigo, a close collaborator of Tchaikovsky’s; the sets and costumes were created by Robert Perdziola, based on a close study of the 1900 originals, which are held at a museum in St Petersburg.

After his century-long sleep, the irrepressible Harlequin is wide awake and ready to charm ballet lovers of all ages.

Joy reigns supreme in Ratmansky's new Harlequinade


Watch the trailer


David's insight

"At American Ballet Theatre in New York, Alexei Ratmansky and I brought the sad, languid clown Pierrot to life through the notations of Petipa’s ballet. To resurrect from the archives a ballet by one of dance’s greatest creators was something I cherished, and I look forward to passing the experience on to the artists who will perform the role here in Australia."

Production credits


Choreography Marius Petipa
Staging and additional choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Assisted by Tatiana Ratmansky
Costume and Set design Robert Perdziola inspired by Orest Allegri and Ivan Vsevolozhsky

Lighting design Brad Fields Recreated in 2022 by Graham Silver
Composer Riccardo Drigo

Harlequinade is a co-production of American Ballet Theatre and The Australian Ballet.

Harlequinade is generously supported by The Margaret Ellen Pidgeon Fund, the Melba Alma Cromack Fund and the K. M. Christensen & A. E. Bond Bequest.

T2019 1065 2020 SEASON Production Images Harlequinade 600x8005

Artists of American Ballet Theatre. Photography by Erin Baiano, Rosalie O'Connor and Mary Sohl

T2019 1065 2020 SEASON Production Images Harlequinade 600x8004
T2019 1065 2020 SEASON Production Images Harlequinade 600x8003
T2019 1065 2020 SEASON Production Images Harlequinade 600x8002
T2019 1065 2020 SEASON Production Images Harlequinade 600x800
Harlequinade ABT Garden 600x800

Discover more