Queensland Ballet reveals 2023 Season

AAR-QB-2023-A-Midsummer-Night's-DreamCourageous characters, dynamic narratives, sparkling scores, and plenty of passion: Queensland Ballet’s 2023 Season presents an opportunity for spirited storytelling told through the dazzling art form of dance.

Inspired by our move to the newly redeveloped Thomas Dixon Centre, Queensland Ballet is brimming with revitalised spirit, and we’ve curated our 2023 Season to reflect it – presenting a mix of blockbusters, classics, and exclusive premières from some of the most inventive and creative choreographers across the globe.

From spirited stories to characters with attitude, Season 2023 dives into narratives and eras that will transport audiences to other worlds, performed right here by the world-class Queensland Ballet.

It has been a challenging-few-years for the Company and its Academy, with the impacts of Covid-19 still reverberating through the arts industry. But Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO said in 2022, Queensland Ballet had achieved big dreams and set the standard for even higher achievements.

“From redeveloping our heritage Thomas Dixon Centre home, to being one of only a handful of ballet companies across the world to secure and present Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, 2022 has been a year of immense achievement. We’ve set the bar high,” he said.

“As I begin my 11th year as Artistic Director, I am so proud of how much we have grown over the last decade. Now we have settled into our refurbished home, the Company, and also our Academy at its Kelvin Grove home, are feeling the positive effects of our beautiful and innovative purpose-built environments.

“The works in our 2023 season reflect the incredible talent and standard of this Company, and I can’t wait to share them with you,” said Mr Li.

Queensland Ballet 2023 Season:

Playhouse, QPAC: 14 – 29 April 2023
Experience love, envy, betrayal, and tragic redemption in the quintessential romantic ballet, Giselle. First performed in Paris, France in 1841, this Romantic-era masterpiece is set in an ethereal realm where vengeful spirits dance in the darkness, and love triangles can be deadly. Follow the story of the young peasant girl Giselle, and her death by a broken heart. In the twilight world of the Wilis, will she follow the dark path of revenge or save her true love from certain death? With exquisite choreography, luminous costumes, and an enchanting score, Giselle has held audiences spellbound since its Parisian première more than 150 years ago.

Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre: 16 – 25 June 2023
Music, colour, and rock n roll swagger collide in Christopher Bruce’s Rooster – a celebration of the swinging 60s! Featuring toe-tapping tunes by The Rolling Stones including Paint it Black, Not Fade Away and Little Red Rooster, this high-energy production resurrects the 1960s with an ironic look at the era. Part ballet, part Scandi noir in style, Jack Lister’s A Brief Nostalgia premiered in London in 2019 as a co-production with Birmingham Ballet. Wistful and atmospherically cinematic, this abstract work explores the inevitability of the memories we collect, and how we respond when they are all we have left. Based on the celebrated novel, My Brilliant Career by Stella Maria ‘Miles Franklin’, this world premiere work, by internationally renowned Australian choreographer Cathy Marston, is an exploration of the vivacious Australian spirit against a vivid country backdrop.

The Little Mermaid
Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre: 22 June – 1 July 2023
Discover Hans Christian Anderson’s most spellbinding fairytale of all in this charming retelling of The Little Mermaid. Based on the original 1837 story – with a few magical twists and turns, this delightful family adventure follows the much-loved tale of a young mermaid who falls deeply in love with a human prince and faces an impossible decision: a life on land or sea. With a parade of well-known and reimagined characters inspired by the 1989 Disney film, and sublime music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius as a nod to the original story’s Scandinavian heritage, this new family fairytale by acclaimed choreographer Paul Boyd will premiere at the stunningly redeveloped Thomas Dixon Centre.

Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre: 27 July – 5 August 2023
Venture into the unknown with three stunning world premiere contemporary works in Bespoke. Compelling, challenging, and always thought-provoking, Bespoke returns for a sixth season with a triple bill by leading Australian choreographers Natalie Weir, Remi Wörtmeyer, and Paul Boyd. This celebration of collaboration and original creativity invites audiences to explore the vibrant world of contemporary dance in an intimate environment at the new Talbot Theatre, inside the recently redeveloped Thomas Dixon Centre. Using music, art, and the artists themselves as inspiration, Bespoke offers a sublime merging of classical technique with emotional depth that will lure you into new dimensions of creativity.

Queensland Ballet Academy Gala
Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre: 11 – 13 August 2023
Don’t miss the rising stars of dance in this compelling showcase of talent by Queensland Ballet’s esteemed Academy. Demonstrating technical finesse and exquisite artistry, the annual Queensland Ballet Academy Gala presents our professionally trained young dancers as they master performance and passion in a dazzling display of classical and contemporary dance. Audiences will enjoy a program of inspiring classical pieces and dynamic contemporary works by renowned choreographers. Performed by dancers at the beginning of their bright careers, this exciting program will be presented at Queensland Ballet’s heritage home, the Thomas Dixon Centre.

Derek Deane’s Strictly Gershwin
Lyric Theatre, QPAC: 28 September – 7 October 2023
Strictly Gershwin comes roaring back to evoke the glamour and romance of the golden age in this spectacular tribute to George and Ira Gershwin. Summoning the silver screen magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Queensland Ballet takes audiences on a dazzling journey through ballet, jazz, tap, and ballroom dance genres, to the big band era soundtrack of the thirties. With sensational choreography by Derek Deane and music adapted by Gareth Valentine, culminating in a sparkling grand finale from An American in Paris, book now for this fabulous homage to the art deco era.

The Nutcracker
Playhouse, QPAC: 1 – 20 December 2023
Celebrate the most magical and popular of holiday traditions with us as Queensland Ballet presents The Nutcracker. The festive favourite returns for its 11th year to captivate Queensland audiences once again with a dazzling winter wonderland where anything is possible. Fireplaces crackle, snowflakes flutter, and enchanted toys come alive to frolic and play to delight families of all ages this Christmas season. Featuring all the character favourites: the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, Drosselmeyer, and more, this is ballet magic at its best. Join us this Christmas as we present our most cherished annual tradition for the whole family.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Regional Tour
HOTA, Gold Coast: 24 – 25 February | Townsville Civic Theatre: 8 March | Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre: 11 March | Empire Theatre, Toowoomba: 31 March – 1 April 2023
Join Queensland Ballet in a regional theatre near you as they tour with the whimsical A Midsummer Night’s Dream by renowned choreographer, Liam Scarlett. Brimming with mischief and mayhem, Shakespeare’s fantastical masterpiece interweaves the magical realm of fairies and woodland creatures with the mortal world of unrequited lovers. This enchanting Shakespearean comedy has captured imaginations for centuries, beautifully enhanced by Tracey Grant Lord’s shimmering sets and Kendall Smith’s ambient lighting designs. Scarlett’s witty choreography brings the woodlands and vivid characters to life, to the sublime score by Felix Mendelssohn.

“Season 2023 is a year rich in storytelling, from literature-driven world premieres, magical classics steeped in history, and incredible blockbusters, to astounding works that will captivate, entertain, and challenge audience perceptions of dance,” said Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO.

“Don’t miss your chance to see this spirited season, featuring works from some of the best choreographers in the world, performed right here in Queensland by the world-class Queensland Ballet.”

For more information about Queensland Ballet’s 2023 Season, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.

Image: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – courtesy of Queensland Ballet