The Sleeping Beauty brings The Australian Ballet artistic director David McAllister full circle

Dancers of The Australian Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty.
Dancers of The Australian Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty.

THE Australian Ballet artistic director David McAllister’s journey on The Sleeping Beauty, his first full-length production as choreographer, will come full circle when the ballet opens at Crown Theatre Perth in October.

It was while growing up in Perth where McAllister saw a performance of Rudolph Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty which made him aspire to be a dancer.

“It was so opulent, lavish and magical and really made a mark on my career,” he said.

“I’m hoping bringing this production to Perth will have that same effect on other little boys and girls.”

McAllister started dancing at age seven, began at The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne when he was 17 and danced for 18 years with The Australian Ballet before retiring in 2001 to become artistic director.

“I always thought my job as artistic director was to commission other people to do big works but for this one I felt like I had a really strong picture of what I wanted the production to be,” he said.

“I thought maybe it was time to step up to the plate.

“It’s a ballet that I’ve danced in a lot and the last production had come to the end of its life; necessity is the mother of invention.”

The result is a beautiful, classical ballet made in collaboration with music director Nicolette Fraillon, set and costume designer Gabriela Tylesova and lighting designer Jon Buswell.

“The challenge is to find your artistic collaborators and I was really lucky,” McAllister said.

“The creative team came together quite magically, to use that term again, and we were all very much in the same mindset as to what the production should be.”

The Sleeping Beauty premiered in Melbourne on September 15 and will open in Perth, accompanied by WASO, on October 7 with another Perth talent, principal dancer Kevin Jackson, performing as the Prince.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Sleeping Beauty

Where: Crown Theatre Perth

When: October 7 to 10

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au