The Australian Ballet lands in the USA

Benedicte Bemet, Brooke Lockett, Karen Nanasca and Heidi Martin. Photo by Lisa TomasettiThe Australian Ballet has departed local shores and has arrived in California, USA for the West Coast premiere of its most successful work, Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake.

The company has returned to Los Angeles for the first time in 43 years to stage five performances at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, premiering on Thursday 9 October (Friday afternoon in Australia). The company then travels to the San Francisco Bay Area after a 25-year break for five limited shows in Berkeley at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall from Thursday 16 October.

A touring party of 100 people including dancers, wardrobe, medical, music and technical staff, will be working around the clock to bring this dazzling production to the stage, along with four 40-foot-high shipping containers loaded with more than 300 costumes, 250 pairs of pointe shoes, props, sets, make-up and medical supplies.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister AM, said he is thrilled to bring the company back to the West Coast with its most performed and successful work.

“Since we last toured California all those years ago the company has evolved incredibly, developing a uniquely Australian style that distinguishes us from the world’s other great ballet companies,” said McAllister.

“Murphy’s Swan Lake is the perfect showcase for our individuality, technique, athleticism and storytelling. I’m certain this production will delight audiences and critics in LA and Berkeley like it has before at home and overseas in China, France, Japan, the UK and New York.”

Whilst mesmerizing audiences on the West Coast, The Australian Ballet will also be pirouetting in front of East Coast ballet fans in the world premiere of a new work from Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour in New York on Thursday 16 October.

Harbour’s Ostinato will open at the Fall for Dance festival at the New York City Center, alongside works from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the San Francisco Ballet, and more. Set to Bill Evans’ 1958 Peace Piece, the work reflects the social and sexual politics of this generation of performers, and will feature Principal Artists Daniel Gaudiello and Ty King-Wall as well as Soloist Robyn Hendricks.

The Australian Ballet has enjoyed a long history of international touring since its first company tour in 1965. The 2014 US West Coast tour will be The Australian Ballet’s ninth tour of the United States – adding to the 87 cities across 37 countries the company has visited in its lifetime.

The tour will be especially memorable for guest artist Colin Peasley OAM, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in Los Angeles. A founding dancer of The Australian Ballet, Colin retired as full-time member of the company in 2012 after an unprecedented 50-year career. Colin has performed on every international tour since 1965.

After performing this popular show-stopper in the USA, the company will return for an exclusive Sydney season of Murphy’s Swan Lake in 2015 at the Capitol Theatre from Friday 20 February.

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Image: Benedicte Bemet, Brooke Lockett, Karen Nanasca and Heidi Martin – photo by Lisa Tomasetti