WA Ballet launches 2018 season

WA Ballet dancers Matthew Lehmann and Oscar Valdes.
WA Ballet dancers Matthew Lehmann and Oscar Valdes.

WA Ballet fans can expect pure emotion and raw energy from the company in 2018 after the release of next year’s program.

“Usually the simplest things work best and a ballet dancer’s body is an art piece itself,” WA Ballet artistic director Aurelien Scannella said.

“2018 is a very exciting year because my main focus for next year was to have as much creation as possible.

“It’s a really important process for our dancers; the creation moment is always the best process for a dancer and it’s important for the company’s image as well; if we had the money we’d only do new works.”

The year will begin in February with the traditional Ballet at the Quarry season featuring four different works including three creations and one Australian premiere.

Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry will include Claude Brumachon’s Les Indomptes performed by two male dancers, Ghost Gum choreographed by WA Ballet dancer Christopher Hill between two female dancers, a piece by Patrick Delcroix and Milngia, Milky Way – River of Stars, an exciting collaboration with Garry Lang NT Dance.

“Garry is an indigenous choreographer based in Darwin,” Scannella said.

“He was one of the first people I met in Perth when I arrived five years ago and he was working with Ochre Contemporary Dance Company. They invited me to watch rehearsal and I immediately liked his style, movement, his musicality and I told him one day we would work together.

“He’ll travel to Perth with a few of his dancers and together with some of our dancers will create a 40-minute work based on an indigenous story of fisherman’s spirits that go in to the sky to make the Milky Way.”

The work will feature Australian opera singer Deborah Cheetham perform each night accompanied by a didgeridoo player.

The May season will see classical ballet La Sylphide, last performed by the company in 2013 and Bournonville specialist Dinna Bjorn will return to Perth to help stage the production.

Genesis, works choreographed by WA Ballet and performed by their colleagues in the intimate Maylands studio, will be presented in June before the September production of Dracula, choreographed by Poland’s Krzysztof Pastor.

Dracula is a ballet I’ve danced myself when I was younger; I don’t know why, but it’s a story I keep with me,” Scannella said.

“When I called Krzysztof and asked if he wanted to do Dracula he said yes immediately.

“It’s a bit like The Great Gatsby where you think you know the story but it’s complex with lots of characters interacting with each other. It’s a beautiful love story that spans 400 years and we’ll use music from the movie.”

The year will end with Scannella, Sandy Delasalle-Scannella and Jayne Smeulder’s The Nutcracker which was first staged in 2016 and led to the company’s most successful season ever.

“When we presented The Nutcracker last year I had the plan to do it every second year, so 2018 will be Nutcracker time again,” Scannella said.

“The season sold out and it will help to start a ballet tradition in Perth.”

Season subscription are available from October 5 with individual tickets on sale November 16.

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