Queensland Ballet Academy: Summer Soirée

QBA Summer Soiree Paul Boyd Level 1 photo by David Kelly PhotographyAt Queensland Ballet’s, Thomas Dixon Centre last Thursday night (8 December), I could be forgiven for feeling like I was attending a performance by an established, professional ballet company.

I was completely unprepared for the standards of excellence and perfection presented by Academy students who have not yet embarked on their salaried careers as professional ballet dancers.

The entire program was a buffet of beautifully interwoven and delightfully served, artistic genres: dance, paintings, orchestral music, costume design, choreography… Every aspect was both individually and collectively, striking. To a multi-genre Arts Reviewer, it was a satisfying feast.

Wonderful, surreal artworks by Australian painter, Tim Storrier were chosen by the choreographers as the inspirational premise for the ensuing dance program. It worked a treat!

One of the fascinating aspects of this soirée was that the incredible costumes were actually incorporated into the choreography. Choreographed costumes! It presented the dancers with an additional element of challenge with dramatic effect. Particularly those flowing, flame-like robes in Evening Embers choreographed by Paul Boyd. Kudos Paul!

Primarily, the dance forms were Contemporary and Neo-classical. Lots of floorwork: rolls, twists, stretches. Perfectly executed. Plus or minus pointe shoes.

Congratulations and commendations to all of the choreographers who superbly showcased the abilities of these students on this night.

Some of the more clustered or crowded scenes reminded me of the creations by Chinese choreographers such as Ma Bo. The Chinese dancers tend to work in extreme close proximity to each other.

I don’t know the names of the individual dancers who are emerging here in Queensland. At this point in time, I’m unable to single any out for special mention. The dancers in all the Pas de Deux pairings were outstanding!

The world class standard of Queensland Ballet Company with Li Cunxin AO as Artistic Director, is clearly being influenced and followed by the academy. The emerging, students are already, at this graduate level, in a state of advanced development as dancers.

A wonderful evening. At this point in time, I feel truly privileged to be a reviewer of ballet in Queensland.

Queensland Ballet Academy: Summer Soirée
Talbot Theatre – Thomas Dixon Centre, 406 Montague Road West End
Performance: Thursday 8 December 2022
Season: 8 – 10 December 2022
Information: www.queenslandballet.com.au

Image: Evening Embers by Paul Boyd – photo by David Kelly Photography

Review: Michele-Rose Boylan