The Australian Ballet


2019 Repertoire Digital Website Asset Build Verve 1280x550 min

Modern dance that moves you

  • Sydney

    April 2019

  • Duration

    120 mins / 2 Intervals

Prod Images Verve 600x800 10 min min

Photography by Jeff Busby

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Prod Images Verve 600x800 2 min min

Three homegrown choreographers. Three very different works. Verve takes you on a voyage through contemporary Australian dance with what Australian Stage calls “a blast of energy and talent”.

Alice Topp’s sensual Aurum moved critics and audiences to superlatives, tributes and tears when it premiered in 2018. Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi – repairing cracked pottery with precious metals – the work explores damage, healing and the beauty of our flaws. The dancers’ powerful movement and profound emotion are framed in a breathtaking staging by Jon Buswell, featuring a reflective golden floor and ripples of burnished light. After winning the prestigious Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance, this acclaimed work will have its New York premiere at the Joyce Theater in May.

Stephen Baynes’ Constant Variants mirrors the elegant classicism of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with velvet-soft, delicate dance. Gliding airborne, captured in warm light and vast picture frames, his dancers conjure the mesmerising beauty of Renaissance paintings.

Verve ends with a bang: Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, the hit of our 2015 contemporary program. The stripped-back clarity of its set, designed by Sydney architect Kelvin Ho, contrasts with the ferocious complexity and speed of the choreography and the drama of the specially commissioned electronic score by German duo 48nord. Adrenaline tingles all the way to the explosive finale.

There is great beauty in this savagery; a magnetic, visceral drama that grabs you in a choke hold and refuses to let go.


Watch the trailer

Prod Images Verve 600x800 9 min min

Production credits


Constant Variants

Choreography Stephen Baynes
Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme
Set and costume design Michael Pearce
Original lighting design Jon Buswell


Choreography and costume design Alice Topp
Music Ludovico Einaudi
Staging and lighting design Jon Buswell

Aurum was created with the support of a Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance, awarded by The Joyce Theater, with major funding from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation

Filigree and Shadow

Choreography Tim Harbour
Music 48nord (Ulrich Müller and Siegfried Rössert)
The score for Filigree and Shadow was commissioned by The Australian Ballet in 2015
Costume concept Tim Harbour
Set design Kelvin Ho
Lighting design Benjamin Cisterne

The 2019 season of Verve is generously supported by The Robert Southey Fund