This October, dance companies from around Australia gather for a festival experience like no other. 

DanceX is a three-part festival conceived and curated by The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg that will showcase the depth, range and diversity of the nation’s dance community. Thrilling audiences with brand new commissions, Australian premieres and excerpts from some of the most popular dance works of the last year, DanceX is an unmissable experience for culture-lovers of all kinds.

DanceX includes works from: The Australian Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Chunky Move, Karul Projects, Lucy Guerin Inc, Marrugeku, Queensland Ballet, and Sydney Dance Company. These nine companies will perform the repertoire of their choice in 12 shows over three parts, gathering at Arts Centre Melbourne's Playhouse theatre. As well as initiating and presenting DanceX, The Australian Ballet has commissioned two companies, Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc, to create brand new works.

For the full festival experience, and to see all nine companies perform, add all three parts to your cart and save 15%.

Part One | 20 – 22 October
The Australian Ballet I New Then
Lucy Guerin Inc How To Be Us*
Sydney Dance Company ab[intra]
Bangarra Dance Theatre Terrain

Part Two | 25 – 28 October
The Australian Ballet I New Then
Queensland Ballet Glass Concerto
Karul Projects SILENCE

Part Three | 29 October – 1 November
Australian Dance Theatre The Third
Chunky Move AB_TA_Response*
The Australian Ballet Lucas Jervies Imposter and Alice Topp First Light
Marrugeku Gudirr Gudirr

*Commissioned by The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet will perform in all three parts, presenting in Part One and Two the Australian premiere of Johan Inger’s comic, romantic dance theatre piece I New Then, set to songs by Van Morrison; Inger, a Swedish choreographer, danced with Nederlands Dans Theater and has made works for leading companies all over Europe. In Part Three, The Australian Ballet will showcase new works from Lucas Jervies and resident choreographer Alice Topp.

PHOTOGRAPHY Simon Eeles

Australian Dance Theatre

The Third

Daniel Riley’s The Third takes as its starting point mulunma – Inside Within his 2021 RISING: Melbourne commission which explores the relationship between the Western archive and a First Nations archive, each built on differing ideologies. The Third extends these concepts by looking at the body as an archive and how we hold memories personally and collectively.

PHOTOGRAPHY Jonathan VDK

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Terrain

Bangarra’s award-winning Terrain returns for a 10th Anniversary Tour of Australia in 2022. Choreographed by Frances Rings, Terrain is a breathtaking exploration of our largest salt lake. The nine-part performance evokes the power of body and land converging to bring spirit to place. Stand with us and feel the ancestral ties that bind people to Country: a rich cultural spine stretching through the generations. Watch the waters rise and fall as we reconnect with the energy of landand the resilient spirit of the people who care for its future.

PHOTOGRAPHY Daniel Boud

Chunky Move

AB_TA_ Response

AB_TA_Response reimagines components of Antony Hamilton’s 2019 major work Token Armies. In Token Armies, a movement language is constructed from the dialogue between humans and material objects. Central to the choreographic research is a fascination with how tools and machines inform human movement. This involves looking at realities and fictions that consider past, present and future demands for cooperation between biological and technological systems. 

PHOTOGRAPHY Eva Otsing

Karul Projects

SILENCE

Karul Projects will perform SILENCE, choreographed by Thomas E.S. Kelly. Through the beating of a drum, bodies thrash through white noise to continue a 250-year old struggle. The same questions echoed through generations. SILENCE pulls Treaty out from under the rug, slams it back on the table and, with riveting intent, invites you to the conversation. 

PHOTOGRAPHY Simon Woods

Lucy Guerin Inc

How To Be Us

How to Be Us is a duet for two women that integrates improvised movement devised by each dancer with strict patterns and formal structures directed by the choreographer. It explores questions of liberty, both individual and communal, in the context of a world that is torn apart by its conflicting ideas of freedom. Lilian Steiner and Samantha Hines are two exceptional dancers who are deeply invested in the possibilities of their art form. They are both experienced improvisers, generous collaborators, and technically accomplished.

PHOTOGRAPHY Gregory Lorenzutti

Marrugeku

Gudirr Gudirr

Gudirr Gudirr calls a warning, the guwayi bird calls when the tide is turning — to miss the call is to drown. An intimate solo dance and video work performed by Dalisa Pigram, daughter of Broome. By turns hesitant, restless, resilient and angry, Gudirr Gudirr lights a path from a broken past through a fragile present and on to a future still in the making.

PHOTOGRAPHY Heidrun Lohr

Queensland Ballet

Glass Concerto

Glass Concerto, by renowned international choreographer Greg Horsman, showcases the speed and precision of the artists of Queensland Ballet. A technical feat of intricate choreography, watch in awe as the dancers capture the pulse and escalating intensity of the brilliance of Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto. A highlight of Queensland Ballet’s 2017 RAW season, this neo-classical masterpiece premièred at the 43rd Prix de Lausanne Gala in Switzerland. This distinctive work is a collage of sublime movement and kinetic energy, an assemblage of dynamic and emotional movement that will captivate and inspire audiences.

PHOTOGRAPHY David Kelly

Sydney Dance Company

ab [intra]

ab [intra], meaning ‘from within’ in Latin is “an exploration of our primal instincts, our impulses and our visceral responses” (Rafael Bonachela). From tenderness to turmoil, ab [intra] is a journey through the intensity of human existence that will command your attention. Composed by Nick Wales, the music fuses lush cello with ambient electronica as the exquisite dancers occupy a visually arresting ethereal world.

PHOTOGRAPHY Pedro Greig

PRODUCTION CREDITS

The Australian Ballet I New Then
Choreography and set design Johan Inger
Music Van Morrison
Lighting design Tom Visser
Costume design Bregje van Balen
(World Premiere 23 February 2012, Lucent Danstheater, The Hague, the Netherlands, Nederlands Dans Theater 2)

Bangarra Terrain
Choreography Frances Rings
Composer David Page
Set Designer Jacob Nash
Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer Karen Norris
Cultural Consultant Arabunna Elder Reginald Dodd

Chunky Move AB_TA_ Response
Choreography Antony Hamilton
Performers Amber McCartney, Kyall Shanks and Tra Mi Dinh
Understudy Nikki Tarling 
Costume design Paula Levis
Video design Robin Fox
Original design and fabrication Creature Technology Co.
Original concept art Peter Gregory
Additional design and fabrication Antony Hamilton and Blair Hart

Karul Projects SILENCE
Choreographer / Writer / Performer Thomas E.S. Kelly 
Rehearsal Director / Performer Taree Sansbury
Choreographic Dramaturg Vicki Van Hout
Dramaturg Alethea Beetson
Performers Amber Nofal, Benjin Maza, Kiara Malcolm-Bodel, Tiana Pinnell
Percussion Composer / Performer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie
Music / Sound Designer Sam Pankhurst
Lighting Designer Karen Norris
Costume Designer Selene Cochrane
Producer BlakDance

Lucy Guerin Inc How To Be Us 
Choreography Lucy Guerin
Dancers Samantha Hines and Lillian Steiner
Executive Producer Brendan O’Connell

Marrugeku Gudirr Gudirr
Concept, Performer & Co-choreographer Dalisa Pigram
Director & Co-choreographer Koen Augustijnen
Set Designer & Video Artist Vernon Ah Kee
Costume Designer Stephen Curtis
Composer & Sound Designer Sam Serruys
Singer & Songwriter Stephen Pigram
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Concept & Cultural Adviser Patrick Dodson
Dramaturg & Creative Producer Rachael Swain
Video Production Sam James

Sydney Dance Company ab [intra] 
Choreography Rafael Bonachela
Music Nick Wales
Lighting design Damien Cooper
Costume and set design David Fleischer

Queensland Ballet Glass Concerto
Choreography Greg Horsman
Music Violin Concerto by Philip Glass recorded by Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi
Costume design George Wu
Lighting design Cameron Goerg

Hosted by The Australian Ballet, DanceX welcomes varied interpretations and backgrounds from nine different companies, with two commissioned works specifically for the festival. We all support one another, but rarely under the same banner. This is the spirited embrace we are all craving after such a trying couple of years. Here we are in 2022, our collective resilience has seen us through. We now reunite through DanceX to embody what is most important in our lives…the beauty of movement.

David Hallberg, Artistic Director

WE THANK OUR PRODUCTION PARTNER

  • Production Partner