To all those who have accessed this website over 2023, especially those who have made comments on various posts, thank you for your interest. I look forward to your continued involvement in 2024. May the coming year be filled with great dance and may peace descend upon the world.
Below are my ‘top five’ productions for the year arranged chronologically according to the date (month only) of the performance I saw. I have this year chosen to select brand new works rather than restagings. This means I have left out a few amazing productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Strictly Gershwin, both from Queensland Ballet, and both of which were just stunning. It is always difficult to choose just five works but I feel it is sometimes a good thing to have to adhere to some kind of restriction, so it’s new works only this year.
What remains (Melbourne. Bodytorque digital—a series from the Australian Ballet, February)
Tim Harbour’s What remains was an exceptional tribute to dancer Kevin Jackson on his retirement as a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet. In just a few minutes of film it showed Jackson’s exceptional technique and Harbour’s inventive choreography, while taking every advantage of an ‘off stage’ setting and a score from George Bokaris.
Shortcuts to familiar places. (Canberra. James Batchelor and Collaborators, April)
James Batchelor’s Shortcuts was an examination of how dance is transmitted from generation to generation—a beautifully conceived and outstandingly presented look at the theoretical idea of ‘embodied transmission’.
Paragon. (Sydney. The Australian Ballet, May)
Alice Topp’s Paragon was a tribute to the dancers of the Australian Ballet, past and present, with great input from design and sound collaborators, and with exceptional, visually stunning choreography from Topp. It was an experience, too, to see some of the Australian Ballet’s dancers from past decades return to the stage and to be reminded of their contribution to the art form.
My brilliant career. (Brisbane. Queensland Ballet, June)
Cathy Marston’s examination of Miles Franklin’s novel, My brilliant career, was a masterly production in which every character was clearly drawn choreographically. Marston created a range of movements that gave an exceptional understanding of the nature of each person in the story. My brilliant career was part of a triple bill from Queensland Ballet.
Bespoke. (Brisbane. Queensland Ballet, July)
Bespoke was a remarkable triple bill, the sixth in a series named Bespoke, showing the way artistic director, Li Cunxin, curates an evening of dance. With works from Remi Wortmeyer, Paul Boyd and Natalie Weir, the audience saw an amazing array of ideas and dance styles and approaches from humour to a serious examination of the process of life.
Michelle Potter, 26 December 2023