Season’s greetings and the ‘best of’ 2023

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

2 thoughts on “Season’s greetings and the ‘best of’ 2023

  1. Thank you, Michelle and Jennifer, for some absorbing reading during the year.

    I could not agree with you more regarding Paragon and Tim Harbour’s piece for Kevin Jackson.

    Unfortunately I didn’t see any of your other three new and great things.

    As I didn’t see much new work this year, I’ll have to include “old” as well (and won’t double up on fabulous Alice):

    Don Quixote in The Australian Ballet’s venerable Nureyev production, with Marcus Morelli and Jill Ogai as a brilliant Basilio and Kitri, in April.

    Sinfonietta by Jiri Kylián, danced by Colorado Ballet, in April.

    Song of a Wayfarer by Maurice Béjart, danced by Germain Louvet and Marc Moreau, and Mathieu Ganio and Audric Bézard, of the Paris Opéra Ballet, coached by Maina Gielgud, in May.

    Amandine Albisson (twice, due to Hugo Marchand’s indisposition) and virtually every available man in the company, in Béjart’s Boléro, Paris Opéra Ballet, May.

    Ashton’s The Dream from The Australian Ballet, November. Particularly Brett Chynoweth and Marcus Morelli as Puck.

    Best wishes for 2024!

  2. And thank you Anna for some pertinent comments over the year! I am sure all visitors to the website have found them as pleasurable as I have.

    I enjoyed hearing about your Paris Opera Ballet experiences. I have so much admiration for POB and regret not having travelled beyond Australia and New Zealand for so long. On overseas trips before the pandemic changed so many things, I always made plans to be in Paris when POB was performing. It is a spectacularly good company. As for Don Q with Ogai and Morelli, both those dancers, as you will know, have just been promoted and I will be mentioning them in the forthcoming dance diary due in a day or two.

    Here’s to dance in 2024!

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