Summertime at the Ballet

The-Australian-Ballet-Summertime-at-the-Ballet-Amber-Scott-photo-by-Pierre-ToussaintThe dancers of The Australian Ballet will be back in the spotlight this February with the long-awaited Summertime at the Ballet, marking the company’s first performances after almost a year off stage, and the launch of a new era under David Hallberg’s directorship.

Summertime at the Ballet will be staged between 25 – 28 February exclusively at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena; it’s the first time the company has performed at the venue.

Curated by The Australian Ballet’s new Artistic Director, David Hallberg, Summertime at the Ballet is a stunning display of ballet highlights throughout the centuries and will be a spectacle of impressive proportions.

The artistry and versatility of the company’s dancers will shine in a selection from ballet’s most celebrated classics, new contemporary works and signature repertoire chosen to delight ballet lovers and new audiences alike.

Summertime at the Ballet will be momentous for many reasons; firstly, it brings to life my first-ever showcase for the company I now have the privilege to lead; and secondly, it marks the moment our extraordinary dancers will showcase their artistry to audiences in almost 12 months,” says David Hallberg, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet.

“I have carefully selected these excerpts as they encompass the versatility of these artists through the beauty of dance. Performed in a new venue, it will highlight the company with a fresh angle, in Melbourne only.”

The Summertime at the Ballet program will include excerpts from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère, Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, Steven Baynes’ Molto Vivace, George Balanchine’s Themes and Variations, Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, Alice Topp’s Logos and Lucas Jervies’ Spartacus. It will also feature Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.

A perfect night out for families, dance-lovers as well as those seeing ballet for the first time, Summertime at the Ballet offers something for everyone at an accessible price point. The classics will take audiences on a journey through lavish early 20th-century Paris, with 20 dancers waltzing across the stage in The Merry Widow; to soul-stirring Spain, as two principal artists perform the technically demanding Act III pas de deux from Don Quixote; then to intoxicating India, where 24 dancers in white tutus will appear to float in the ethereal Kingdom of the Shades scene from La Bayadère. Audiences will be dazzled by the sumptuous costumes customary to traditional ballets.

Lovers of modern work will revel in the contemporary whip-fast choreography of Filigree and Shadow, performed to electro music by 48nord, and the raw emotion of a pas de deux from the newest work in the program, Alice Topp’s 2020 ballet Logos, set to a score by Ludovico Einaudi.

“We would like to thank the Victorian Government for its tremendous support through Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Program in helping us bring our Summertime at the Ballet season to the stage through their Strategic Investment Fund, and would also like to thank our new partner Audi for helping us bring ballet back to our beloved audiences,” said Libby Christie, Executive Director of The Australian Ballet.

“After a year of cancelled performances, this is a momentous occasion for Australia’s national ballet company, and we can’t wait to be back on stage again. We are working very closely with Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust to ensure we follow required and Victorian Government COVID-safe regulations to ensure our Summertime at the Ballet season is of the highest COVID-safe standards to protect our artists and audiences.”

Summertime at the Ballet is a must-attend event for people and families of all interests and will guarantee a special night out thanks to the joy-inducing spirit of dance. It will be presented at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena: 25 – 28 February 2021. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Amber Scott, Principal Artist, The Australian Ballet – photo by Pierre Toussaint

Summertime at the Ballet Production Credits:

The Kingdom of the Shades from La Bayadère
Choreography Marius Petipa
Music Ludwig Minkus
arranged by John Lanchbery

Trio from Filigree and Shadow
Choreography Tim Harbour
Music 48nord

Pas de deux from Molto Vivace
Choreography Stephen Baynes
Music George Frederic Handel
Largo from Xerxes

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt from Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act III

Act III Pas de deux from Don Quixote
Choreography Rudolf Nureyev
Music Ludwig Minkus
arranged by John Lanchbery

Waltz from The Merry Widow
Choreography Ronald Hynd
Music Franz Lehár
arranged by John Lanchbery

Excerpts from Act I of Spartacus
Choreography Lucas Jervies
Music Arum Khachaturian
Pas de deux and finale

Clay Duet (excerpt from Logos)
Choreography and costume design Alice Topp
Music Ludovico Einaudi
‘Whirling Winds’

Theme and Variations
Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt from Orchestral Suite No.3 in G, Op.55