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Aussie Ballet


Ozzie Oz

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Now you've got me started:

I would like to know what productions are in season, upcoming events, information about the companies principals, audition information for the Aussie Ballet School, the next tour, clubs for kids. STOP that's enough for now. :sweating:

Thanks Floss :thumbsup:

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Off the top of my head I can't give you much info except that The Three Musketeers will be performed towards the end of the year in Sydney. I believe that it has not been performed for some time. The AB also has a web site I will have to get back with address. Off I go to check some details.

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The Australian Ballet has a book to commemorate their 40 years, "Beyond 40" It is a beautiful book with a history of the AB, photographs of company members in various costumes with information about various numbers from the repertoire. Worthwhile for your ballet library.

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Don't know if you guys know this but:

Australian Ballet School graduate Vivienne Wong has joined the corps (thats kinda old news)

Matthew Lawrence has been promoted to Senior Artist

Annabell Bronner Reid to Soloist

Camilla Vergotis,Danielle Rowe, Craig Cathcart and Paul Knobloch to corypee.

And Rachel Dougherty has left.

The Beyond 40 book is EXCELLENT! I own it and love it to bits. :ermm: And thats about it.

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Something I'm not too keen on is McAllister's theory of giving leading roles to dancers other than principals. I can understand it in the sense that it does give other members of the company a chance to perform in a role that normally they may not have a chance of dancing. But, when the whole family goes to the ballet it does become quite expensive, then if you find that you are watching someone besides a principal in a leading role that doesn't seem to be up to the necessary standard it become very disappointing. This has happened to us a couple of times. On one occasion the female lead, in my and the rest of the family's opinion had a very different emotional interpretation of the role that we felt was overdone. We came away from the performance feeling very let down.

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Thank you, floss!!! You've very delicately stated both sides of a one of the issues in ballet today -- I'm sure it happens to all of us. I get to see several performances during a run, so it's not as much of an issue as it would be for someone who is only seeing one or two performances in a season.

I hope you will tell us more about what you're seeing this season -- even if no one comments, people read it (it's hard to comment on a performance you haven't seen). And the more comments we have, the more others who HAVE seen the same thing will come out and post about it. So thank you!!!

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I understand the difficulty that companies face when trying to cater for the different requirements of the audience and the company. I don't mind watching other dancers besides principals in lead roles as long as their interpretation of the role is in sympathy with the character. I suppose after being "burnt" a couple of times you get a bit wary.

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Oh, I agree. And inexperienced dancers need to get experience -- but I'd also say that every audience is entitled to a good performance, and if a dancer isnt ready, then, unless there's a certified emergency, they shouldn't go on.

I think artistic directors should have taped to their door, "Remember! Tonight will be someone's first night at the ballet. And the McAllister family of 8 has driven 500 miles to see this, their only performance of the year."

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Hello. I've been a subscriber of the Australian Ballet's Sydney season for the last three years, and I have also noticed David McAllister's tendency to cast less experienced dancers in the alternative performing cast of each ballet. In my humble opinion, it's not that the non-principal dancers cannot emotionally interpret the pieces well, but it seems to me that they have more trouble coping with the technical demands of the pieces performed. The particular example that I write the above opinion with comes from the AB's new ballet, 'Wild Swans'. I'm not sure if any of you watched it. Annabel Bronner Reid was cast in the lead role the night I saw the performance, and I thought that she had a good emotional interpretation of the role of Eliza, but she struggled to control many of her adage movements, and I felt that that was quite a shame.

Another thing that I don't quite like about the direction that the AB is taking under the direction of David McAllister is the choice of ballets that are performed in each year. Having grown up on watching Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty ballets, I like to see the 'classic' ballets being performed. Not the trilogies and contemporary ballets that are slowly coming to dominate the AB's repertoire. I think this preference will vary greatly with each individual though.

Edited by temple_dancer
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I have also noticed some deficits in AB principals technique and wasn't sure if I was judging them too critically as other ballet-goers I speak to don't mention lack of technique or interpretation and these people are qualified to make such comments. [i' ve also noticed that some of the corp have difficulty performing in certain ballets. Don Q a few years ago comes to mind with one particular male dancer who had so much trouble with the spanish character style of the performance - I would say that he had little character dance traing- that he was extremely noticeable although I must say that he really threw himself into the dance and looked as if he was truly enjoying the performance]. Sometimes I wonder if this has to do with a type of "protection" ( I can't think of a better way to put it) or maybe a ballet form of political correctness. Or it could be that some people are wearing blinkers and for whatever reason don't see what I and my family see or that we are being overly critical. Interesting to hear that you have similar experiences temple dancer. We are also classical fans and usually will give many contemporary pieces a miss, even though my daughters take contemporary classes. I think that because artistic directors have to consider the diverse tastes of the dance going public that we end up with programs that give anyone little in the way of a 'full' dance viewing experience in their preferred dance form.

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Perhaps because the AB dancers are able to project expressiveness and emotion into their dancing so well, we often overlook their technique, so in that sense there is some kind of 'protection'. I also agree with you on the point of the corps' technique - they do seem to have a much harder time presenting a controlled technical performance on many of the more 'classical' pieces such as Don Quixote, and I remember when I watched La Bayadere, this was also extremely noticeable in the 'Kingdom of the Shades' opening piece. My sister has often said that should you combine the technique of the Royal Ballet dancers with the expressiveness of the Australian Ballet, you would have a perfect ballet company. Or reaching perfection might be more correct.

The AB is putting on The Three Musketeers at the end of this year during the Sydney performance season, should be a good one to look forward to for us 'classical' fans.

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Ahh that's what I'm talking about (refer to all posts above). Thanks everyone for sharing, some great discussion points too.

It's interesting that one refers to "going to the ballet" as opposed to "going to the contemporary". I must say that I am partial to the traditional performances and should I have the very rare opportunity to go see a performance, I certainly would choose a classical over contemporary every time. I will also add that I do enjoy contemporary performances but I'm simply emphasising which one I'd choose if I had to make a choice.

Question- What do any of you think of the Western Australian Ballet Company? How (in your opinions) do they fair in comparison to say the Australian Ballet company or other companies for that matter? :thumbsup::)

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I have only seen WA's Coppelia by Chrissie Perrot (?). I really enjoy it and because it has such an Australian take on the performance I haven't even really noticed technique in great detail. It's been a couple of years since i saw it and that was on TV but i do remember 'strong' dancers and not that puny, barely alive barely able to move type of dancer that are in some companys. I prefer to see dancers (and the whole company) who look as if they enjoy the performance and love to dance and unfortunately I do not see that consistantly.

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ozzie, i don't think it's a reasonable comparison to make. it's like saying: which do you think is 'better': the Royal Ballet or the Scottish Ballet - except that the difference is even MORE marked.

one is a major, government funded, huge, national classical institution, while the other is a TINY, endlessly-struggling group, of highly individual and multi-skilled dancers constantly presenting cutting-edge ballet choreography.

IMO, the WAB dancers are often BETTER THAN the AB dancers - with a few exceptions. but they HAVE to be, to handle the variety of rep they deal with, and the pressures of having no-one to replace them. that's MY opinion! B)

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I haven't seen the WAB perform in a production of their own per se, but they performed in conjunction with the AB last year. Can't complain, as an audience member I expected a good night of entertainment in the form of good dancing and expectations were met.

The smaller interstate ballet companies of Australia don't often tour around to other states do they? I've never heard of many other major Australian ballet companies other than the AB passing through Sydney.

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