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

Anna Karenina


Cinematic staging, elegant costumes and Yuri Possokhov’s sensual choreography illuminate the tragedy of Anna Karenina, whose desire brings about her ruin. 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 Tolstoy’s novel, distilling its central romances and conflicts into a fast-moving, immersive narrative. The celebrated theatre designer Tom Pye captures the opulence of Anna’s world with a modern twist, through vividly coloured costumes and 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.

A specially commissioned orchestral score by award-winning composer Ilya Demutsky, who has worked with Possokhov on five previous occasions, captures the torment and raptures of its characters and includes a mezzo-soprano singing live on stage.

After standing ovations and critical acclaim in its debut season, Anna Karenina is set to sweep you away.

David's insight:
I was so moved to see the power this ballet has to sway an audience. It’s a visual feast, and a virtuoso display of dancing by the whole company. Our dancers are as transcendent as actors as they are as technicians. Anna Karenina shows the power of storytelling through the beauty of dance."

This is not just one for the balletomanes – anyone who loves dance, film or musical theatre will find something to appreciate in this exciting production.


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

Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photography by Jeff Busby 2021


Choreography Yuri Possokhov
Composer Ilya Demutsky
Libretto Valeriy 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 Opera Australia Orchestra

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


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