Nutcracker: The Story of Clara. The Australian Ballet (2017)

…eading roles of Clara the Ballerina and the Beloved Officer, as did Andrew Wright as the Nutcracker Prince. Azoury has all the technique ready and waiting but just needs a little more feeling of freedom to make those curving, swirling lifts of the various pas de deux look as spectacular as they are. A little more time? Oh, and thank you to the new (to me) ‘older dancers’, friends of Clara the Elder. Graeme Hudson brought a certain gravitas and was…

Rachel Rawlins retires

…Ty King-Wall, and indeed from Rawlins herself. Rachel Rawlins in Sir Peter Wright’s production of  Nutcracker, 2007. Photo: © Justin Smith. Courtesy the Australian Ballet Rachel Rawlins, principal artist with the Australian Ballet, has announced that she will retire at the end of this year. She will give her final performance in Sydney in December in the dual role of Odette/Odile in Stephen Baynes’ newly choreographed version of Swan Lake. ‘I’ve n…

The Dream. The Australian Ballet

…c Variations. Monotones II, danced by Natasha Kusen, Brett Simon and Jared Wright, has not really stood the test of time for me. It looked quite outdated and very static. As for Symphonic Variations, could it really be the same ballet I was lucky enough to see in London last year danced by the Royal Ballet? As the curtain went up I got a thrill to see Robyn Hendricks and Cristiano Martino looking stunning as the lead couple—elegant with proud bear…

Body Torque 2.2. The Australian Ballet

…e was more than ably accompanied by Andrew Killian, Rudy Hawkes and Andrew Wright. Luplau says in his choreographic statement that Bleecker is ‘a journey of self discovery’, and he reflects that there is ‘a certain captivating moment you experience as you explore one of the world’s greatest cities’. Well Bleecker was a captivating moment in Luplau’s journey as a choreographer. We can only hope that the journey will be an ongoing one. Wortmeyer’s F…

The Nutcracker. The Australian Ballet (2010)

…. So it is hardly a surprise that the Australian Ballet’s staging of Peter Wright’s Nutcracker as its final offering for the 2010 Sydney season was a total sell-out. This Nutcracker does not strive too hard for psychological explanations or modernisations and the production has a clear and very welcome logic to it. Nothing happens in the transformation scene, when the Christmas tree grows, mice (rats I think in this production?) emerge and engage…

Pina. A film by Wim Wenders

…ter. For me the most interesting review to date has been by Australian playwright and commentator Louis Nowra. Writing in the August edition of The Monthly, Nowra astutely says, amongst other things, that the scenes shot out of doors are ‘[drained] of their claustrophobic power’, and that ‘the uterine universe that Bausch created onstage is dissipated’. His concluding statement is: ‘For all its 3-D marvels, the film finally doesn’t do her work jus…

Infinity. A second look

…duet with Jarryd Madden. An injured Andrew Killian was replaced by Andrew Wright but it was Adam Bull again who stole the show amongst the male performers. I admired the intensity with which he approached Murphy’s choreography with its quirky and demanding partnering and its detailed and often unexpected movements. And looking back to my original post and its comments, I don’t think I interpreted the work differently despite now knowing that the…

Dimity Azoury. 2014 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award

…ed on stage at the Sydney Opera House at the final rehearsal for Sir Peter Wright’s Nutcracker. ‘I was in a state of shock when my name was called,’ Azoury says. ‘I was shaking and found it really hard to hold on to the flowers I was given. Then, when the curtain came down, all the dancers hugged me and were so supportive. This is one of the lovely things about working in the Australian Ballet. Everyone is so generous.’ Azoury was trained first in…

Gailene Stock (1946—2014)

…ary Norman whom she married while in Canada. (left) Gailene Stock and Paul Wright in Ballet Imperial, the Australian Ballet, 1967. Photo: Walter Stringer; (right) Gailene Stock before leaving for London, Melbourne 1963. Photo: Keith Byron. Images courtesy of the National Library of Australia. On their return to Australia Stock danced briefly with the Australian Ballet under Anne Woolliams before having her daughter Lisa and then directing the Nati…