Queensland Ballet celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2020 with a season that looks both forwards and back.
“This is a very special season for us as we’re able to honour all those who have come before us and enabled QB to be the global ballet company it is today,” said Artistic Director Li Cunxin.
“The Company was founded 60 year ago by the great Charles Lisner OBE, who had a vision to develop both the artform of ballet and audience for it here in Queensland,” he said. “Charles was all about bringing this international artform to local audiences and was also committed to taking ballet into regional Queensland to share the magic. These characteristics [are] still very much at the heart of QB today and we’re very proud to continue his legacy.”
60th Anniversary Gala. Photo supplied
The season begins with Derek Deane’s acclaimed production of The Lady of the Camellias. Performed in an exclusive Brisbane season by sister company Shanghai Ballet, the work is based on the 1848 Dumas novel about a Parisian courtesan.
In March, the company will mark its 60th anniversary with a gala featuring excerpts from works created and presented by QB over its history. These include Charles Lisner’s Chopin pas de deux (1965), Jacqui Carroll’s Carmina Burana (1982), Harold Collins’ The Lady of the Camellias (1996) and Francois Klaus’s The Little Mermaid (2003) and Cloudland (2004), as well as Harald Lander’s 1948 homage to classical ballet, Études.
Then in May, QB presents Krzysztof Pastor’s Dracula, a co-production with West Australian Ballet. With a score by Wojciech Kilar and libretto by Pawel Chynowski, the ballet is heavily inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. Dracula received its world premiere in Perth last September.
Dracula. Photo supplied
For its 2020 season of Bespoke, QB teams up with respected choreographers Natalie Weir, Remi Wortmeyer and Petros Treklis to produce a series of new works. Synergy, which sees dancers from the Pre-Professional and Jette Parker Young Artist Programs perform works by emerging choreographers, will also return in November.
Greg Horsman’s highly popular production of The Sleeping Beauty also returns in September, with Nigel Gaynor to conduct the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s evergreen score. Meanwhile, Horsman’s Peter and the Wolf, featuring some of Prokofiev’s most beloved music, is sure to delight young audiences as part of the company’s My First Ballet Series in August.
The Sleeping Beauty. Photo supplied
As is customary, the season ends with Ben Stevenson’s classic production of The Nutcracker.
In addition to its Tutus on Tour program, which brings ballet to regional Queensland audiences, the company will also take Liam Scarlett’s Dangerous Liaisons to Melbourne in April. In October, QB will again present a gala showcasing dancers in its elite training programs, performing works by Kenneth Macmillan, Paul Boyd and Horsman.