Drama, laughter and pure physical power: Molto offers two works by our resident choreographers Stephen Baynes and Tim Harbour and one by Frederick Ashton, a giant of 20th-century dance.
Ashton’s A Month in the Country, based on the play by Ivan Turgenev, draws the lines of desire between its four main characters with a deft and delicate hand. Natalia, bored with her marriage, first encourages the attentions of an older admirer before falling wildly in love with her son’s tutor – as does her young ward Vera. The music of Chopin and Julia Trevelyan Oman’s rich design beautifully frame Ashton’s eloquent, passionate pas de deux.
Tim Harbour’s Squander and Glory is set to Michael Gordon’s Weather One (which Harbour describes as “like The Four Seasons played by Conan the Barbarian”) and its lightning-fast, complex movement for 14 dancers, multiplied to 28 by architect Kelvin Ho’s sleek mirrored set, plays with ideas of excess energy, pressure and release.
Stephen Baynes’ Molto Vivace is a giddy frolic in a garden, a light-hearted, tender look at folly and flirting, complete with streetwise cupids and a design that goes from pristine white to neon bright as manners turn to mayhem. The music of Handel provides the perfect accompaniment to both the madcap humour and the transcendent final pas de deux.
This diverse trio of stellar works will tick all your ballet boxes.
High jinks and high style: two of the flavours in this smorgasbord of dance.Artists of The Australian Ballet in Molto Vivace and Squander and Glory. Photography Jeff Busby, Daniel Boud and Kate Longley
A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY (1976)
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Music Frédéric Chopin arranged by John Lanchbery
Scenery and costume design Julia Trevelyan Oman
Original lighting design William Bundy
Scenery and costumes courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada
A Month in the Country is generously supported by The Maina Gielgud Fund.
SQUANDER AND GLORY (2017)
Choreography and costume concept Tim Harbour
Music Michael Gordon Weather One
Set design Kelvin Ho
Lighting design Benjamin Cisterne
Soundscape design Tony David Cray
MOLTO VIVACE (2003)
Choreography Stephen Baynes
Music George Frideric Handel
Costume design Anna French
Set design Richard Roberts
Original lighting design Rachel Burke
With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Orchestra