“There are as many kinds of love as there are hearts …” — Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina


Unfortunately, due to the impact of the COVIDSafe restrictions announced recently, we have no choice but to postpone our season of Anna Karenina at Arts Centre Melbourne until later in the year. All ticket holders will be contacted once new performance dates are confirmed. We are continuing our preparations to bring Anna Karenina to Adelaide Festival Centre as planned.

Cinematic staging, elegant costumes and Yuri Possokhov’s powerful choreography illuminate the tragedy of Anna Karenina, whose desire brings about her ruin.

The Story
When Anna meets Vronsky, a handsome young officer, the instant connection between them flames into an affair – with disastrous consequences. Anna leaves her conservative husband and relinquishes her son to be with her lover, but her bliss is fleeting, and when Vronsky’s passion cools she takes desperate action. Possokhov, formerly a principal dancer with Bolshoi Ballet and San Francisco Ballet and now a major international choreographer, does full justice to the scale and ambition of Tolstoy’s novel.

The Music
The specially commissioned orchestral score is by award-winning composer Ilya Demutsky, who has worked with Possokhov on five previous occasions, forming one of the great artistic partnerships of this century.

The Design
The celebrated theatre designer Tom Pye captures the opulence of Anna’s milieu with a modern twist. The vivid colour and luxurious detail of the costumes glow in a sparse, contemporary set that conjures ballrooms, boudoirs and the fateful railway station. Finn Ross’ projections (including real-time footage of the dancers) add substance and atmosphere.

David’s insight:
“The ‘Russian soul’ is very familiar to me after dancing with the Bolshoi Ballet for ten years. That deep soul echoes on stage in Yuri’s recreation of this harrowing tale, a story written by one Russian and interpreted by another, generations later.”

A masterful homage to an epic novel

Chicago Sun Times

The agonies and ecstasies of Anna’s turbulent life are masterfully evoked in this passionate ballet. 

Artists of the Joffrey Ballet. Photography Cheryl Mann


Choreography Yuri Possokhov
Guest Repetiteurs
Adam Blyde  Suzanne Lopez
Composer Ilya Demutsky
Libretto Valerly Pecheykin based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Costume and set design Tom Pye
Lighting design David Finn
Projection design Finn Ross

With Orchestra Victoria and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Anna Karenina is a co-production of The Joffrey Ballet and The Australian Ballet.

Watch our dancers go through their morning routine and rehearse for Anna Karenina

Behind The Scenes

Sit in as Artistic Director David Hallberg interviews a creative on Anna Karenina

Hallberg In Conversation



  • Lead & Production Partner
  • Production Partner