Queensland Ballet presents Trilogy

Queensland-Ballet-presents-My-Brilliant-Career-as-part-of-the-triple-bill-Trilogy-photo-by-David-KellyQueensland Ballet’s Trilogy invited us to an evening of immersion in modern ballet. We were served three unique, diverse viewpoints.

A Brief Nostalgia made its Australian premiere. This stark and striking work has been brilliantly choreographed by former Queensland ballet dancer, Jack Lister.

Distinctly, Nordic Noir, the performance was uncluttered but dramatic and engaging: dancing figures cast dramatic shadows upon cement walls in the set created by Thomas Mika. What could be perceived as emotionally detached or chilling, instead challenged and motivated me to search deeper for meaning and message.

Whilst the notes state that the focus of the work is dealing with memories, l immediately perceived within the layers, several, vivid analogous interpretations. (Critics are analytical creatures).

In the cement walls upon which the dancers hammered their fists, I saw insurmountable obstacles, the end of the road. That life point where we are up against a brick wall; between a rock and a hard place.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. A state which could bring despair or desperation. I was, however, struck by the personal realisation that if I maintain poise while being forced to move backwards, I’m seen as still dancing. If I can’t move any further forward, I can raise my arms and stretch towards the limitless skies.

The choreographed lifts, catches and throws within the ballet extended another hope: the possibility of being safely lifted up by someone stronger.

The mood changed immediately after the interval to the tune of Little Red Rooster. Suddenly, we celebrated the strut and swagger of life in The Sixties. Back when the Rolling Stones were not only all still alive, but young and sexually attractive.

The performance itself was vividly alive with smooth groove, cool moves and moments of humour. Christopher Bruce made the choreographic most of the iconic tunes, particularly, the gliding glissandos of those guitar slides. A gorgeous, deeply satisfying work.

My Brilliant Career made its world premiere in Brisbane. I was uncertain what to expect from a ballet based on a book and movie that I know so well. My qualms were unfounded. Clearly, Choreographer, Cathy Marston has immersed herself in the text and cleverly translated the story into dance form.

A cohesive success from the entire production team including costume and stage design. The choice of minimal sets was a masterstroke of creative construction. A child’s playhouse was swiftly converted by the ‘station hands’ into a colonial ‘homestead’ with its wide, open verandas. A wooden crate became two bench seats.

Well done to the lighting team who brought us lazy, hazy days in the Australian summer sun minus all those things that bite, kill or eat us. I was delighted by this performance which is so quintessentially Australian and predict a successful outreach to a wider audience. Well done Queensland Ballet.

Playhouse – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cultural Precinct, South Brisbane
Performance: Friday 16 June 2023
Season continues to 25 June 2023
Information and Bookings: www.queenslandballet.com.au

Image: Queensland Ballet presents My Brilliant Career as part of the triple bill, Trilogy – photo by David Kelly

Review: Michele-Rose Boylan