Queensland Ballet unveils a vibrant Season in 2024, full of colourful characters and stories from literature, history, and imagination. In a fusion of new and loved works told through traditional classical and vivid contemporary repertoire, Queensland Ballet will explore dreamscapes, realism, and fairytales – some with an unexpected twist.
2024 will be the last season curated by outgoing Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO as he considers the next chapter in his own journey. “It is bittersweet to introduce such an incredible 2024 Season filled with colour, vibrancy, and bold athleticism, featuring compelling stories brought to life by dance” he said.
“Vibrant, textured characters are the focus of my last curated season. The company will explore an arrestingly beautiful Coppélia in sun-drenched regional Australia; fashion icon Coco Chanel in Jazz Age Paris; whimsical fairy kings and queens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and so much more in this Season of stories for everyone,” said Li.
Queensland Ballet’s blockbuster ballet of the year is the rags-to-riches tale of Coco Chanel: the Life of a Fashion Icon, transporting audiences back to Jazz Age Paris. Darkly ambitious, this famed French designer redefined the world of fashion for modern women – but at what cost?
Internationally acclaimed Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa delves into Chanel’s complex life in this full-length narrative ballet steeped in realism and beauty. This new work is a co-production with Hong Kong Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, premiering in Hong Kong in early 2023, with the season selling out within 48 hours.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings the wonder of Shakespeare to the Brisbane stage in April with this enchanting and acclaimed rendition by Liam Scarlett. Brimming with mischief and mayhem, this fantastical masterpiece interweaves the realm of fairies and woodland characters with the mortal world of unrequited lovers.
This enchanting comedy is beautifully enhanced by Tracy Grant Lord’s shimmering sets and Kendall Smith’s ambient lighting designs. With the sublime score by Felix Mendelssohn performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, it promises to be one, not to be missed.
In June, the company presents a light-hearted Coppélia. Greg Horsman’s adaptation is set in the sun-drenched South Australian town of Hahndorf in the late 19th century, giving this story of comic chaos and its colourful characters a distinctly Australian flair. The production will tour to the Gold Coast, with three shows at Home Of The Arts (HOTA), November 1 and 2.
Also in June, our popular My First Ballet will charm even our youngest audiences with the exquisite fairytale, Cinderella. Adapted from our full-length version by Ben Stevenson OBE, this sparkling tale of determination and love – with a sprinkling of fairy magic, is the perfect fit for families.
Edgy, contemporary, and entirely unexpected, Bespoke returns for a seventh season of dynamic new works in July that explore how far dance can go, with Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri choreographer Katina Olsen, award-winning Ukrainian-Dutch choreographer Milena Sidorova, and innovative Australian choreographer Jack Lister collaborating with artists, musicians, and the dancers themselves.
Always a highlight of the season, Queensland Ballet Academy Gala in August is an exciting annual showcase of the rising young stars of dance. Enjoy a program of classical ballet and dynamic neo-classical and contemporary works, along with a selection of vibrant student choreographic showcases.
December brings everyone’s festive favourite, The Nutcracker, whisking families away to a sparkling winter wonderland one Christmas Eve to join the midnight adventures of Clara, the Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, plus all the enchanting inhabitants of their glittering kingdom. Now in its twelfth season, this holiday tradition becomes more beloved by families each year.
Queensland Ballet on Tour includes a Brisbane season Queensland Ballet at Home, revealing a treasure trove of ballet masterpieces and rich stories including one of the most-loved excerpts in the ballet world. Three Preludes, choreographed by Ben Stephenson OBE, Tchaikovsky Mash Choreographed by Matthew Lawrence, Le Corsaire Pas De Deux by Marius Petipa and A Rhapsody in Motion.
Sharing the beauty of ballet with as many Queenslanders as possible has always been a priority for Queensland Ballet, and this year the company is delighted to travel to Bundaberg, Cairns, Caloundra, Charters Towers, Goondiwindi, Maryborough and Toowoomba.
Queensland Ballet presents Derek Deane’s The Lady of the Camellias performed by Shanghai Ballet, in a season exclusive to Brisbane. Following one of the most beautiful and brazen courtesans in 19th century Paris, this tragic story of love and sacrifice has inspired countless productions, including the musical and film, Moulin Rouge. This production sold out in 2020 but was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Queensland Ballet continues to expand its reputation as an internationally renowned dance company, producing innovative and high-quality works and continuing to develop Queensland talent. “A significant contribution to this success is the unwavering commitment and vision of Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO,” she said.
“Li’s last curated program with the company is a wonderful gift for audiences with Queensland Ballet’s 2024 program bringing the world’s greatest ballets to our door, sharing stories of fantasy, fashion, romance, and new First Nations contemporary work.”
“The Queensland Government invests in the Queensland Ballet’s growth and development, supporting its operations and programming, including the company’s home at the refurbished Thomas Dixon Centre, engaging regional communities through touring activities, and nurturing the next generation of dancers at the Queensland Ballet Academy.”
“This investment enables Queensland Ballet to create employment opportunities for dancers and arts workers, supports Queenslanders’ access to the incredible work of the company and helps deliver the priorities of the Creative Together 2020 – 2030 roadmap for arts, culture and creativity.”
“Congratulations Li and Mary for sharing your inspiration, vision and passion for dance and for your artistic legacy showcased during Queensland Ballet’s 2024 season,” said Minister Enoch.
In concluding the Season launch ceremony, Mr Li thanked those he’d worked with. “The past 11 Seasons at the helm of Queensland Ballet have represented one of the most rewarding chapters of my life,” he said.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have been surrounded by a contagious energy, an unbreakable creative spirit of dancers, creatives, and arts workers; our audiences, our donors and patrons, and all in our Queensland Ballet community.”
“My heartfelt gratitude goes to our supporters who enable all that we do: the Australian and Queensland Governments, our family of Partners, and our treasured donors and visionaries who love and support our artform, empowering our every move.”
“My gratitude to you – our audience, for your belief in us. Together we have created unforgettable and impactful experiences and a proud legacy! I look forward to witnessing the journey of this aspirational company as it continues to share the beauty of dance with as many people as possible throughout Queensland and beyond,” said Mr Li.
Season tickets are now on sale. For more information about the Queensland Ballet’s 2024 Season, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.
Image: Yanela Piñera – photo by David Kelly