"Kevin Jackson" tag
Brett Chynoweth and artists of The Australian Ballet in Firebird.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Murphy (Graeme Murphy tribute bill of 6 works) – Sydney

★★★✰✰   Within this potpourri of Graeme Murphy’s works, the highlight was “Grand”, a charming and poignant tribute he created in 2005 for his mother, a pianist, who died the previous year.

Amelia Soh, Leanne Stojmenov and Ai-Gul Gaisina in Nutcracker – Story of Clara.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nutcracker: The Story of Clara – Sydney

★★★★✰   “…the emotional impact of this uniquely Australian Nutcracker remains as powerful as ever.”

Alexandre Riabko in Nijinsky.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nijinsky – Melbourne

★★★✰✰   Even after his death, Vaslav Nijinsky suffered from the power and control of others…

Leanne Stojmenov in Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Cinderella – London

★★★✰✰   …the production lurches between down-to-earth Aussie niceness and the designer’s European conceits…

Kevin Jackson, Vivienne Wong and Rudy Hawkes in Alice Topp’s Little Atlas.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Symphony in C, divertissements and new works bill – Sydney

★★★✰✰   The first thing to say about Symphony in C is that the Australian Ballet’s corps and soloists had been rehearsed and coached with technical perfection in mind and there was little to fault with their execution of the steps.

Dimity Azoury and Chengwu Guo in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Forgotten Land, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and DGV: Danse a grande vitesse – Sydney

★★★★✰   In music, mood and dynamics the Australian Ballet’s new triple bill, Vitesse, represents three elements, water, fire and air.

Matt Donnelly, Lana Jones and Lisa Bolte in David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty.© Kate Longley. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Melbourne

With a feast of baroque extravagance that would please the Sun King himself David McAllister’s new Sleeping Beauty for the Australian Ballet is destined for a long life in the company’s repertoire.

Ako Kondo, Cristiano Martino, Robyn Hendricks and Amber Scott in Symphonic Variations.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Ashton bill: The Dream, Monotones II, Symphonic Variations – Sydney

After the long famine, Ashton’s ballets made a welcome return this week with the company’s triple bill under the umbrella title, The Dream.

Gillian Murphy rehearsing La Bayadère.© Kate Longley. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – La Bayadère (Gillian Murphy, Kevin Jackson) – Sydney

The stars were indeed aligned when American Ballet Theatre’s Gillian Murphy arrived to guest with the Australian Ballet for two performances as the leading lady, Nikiya the temple dancer.

Austlian Ballet in David McAllister's Overture.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – 50th Anniversary Gala – Melbourne

It was a program that harkened back to the big international Galas of previous years, as well as a nice reference to the company’s first years, when artists including Sonia Arova, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev guest-starred.

Lana Jones, Rudy Hawkes, Adam Bull and Amber Scott in Gemini.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Icons bill: The Display, Gemini, Beyond Twelve – Melbourne

At the time of its premiere in 1964 The Display shocked its audiences. Highly sexualized, violent and thoroughly modern, the ballet divided audiences and critics. But, seen in the context of Helpman’s life, the choices within the work begin to make sense.

Amber Scott as Tatiana & Adam Bull as Onegin in Onegin. © Lynette Wills. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Onegin – Melbourne

Onegin has been part of the Australian Ballet repertoire since 1976, first introduced at the behest of Anne Woolliams, who worked with Cranko at the Stuttgart Ballet. Woolliams replaced Sir Robert Helpmann as artistic director of the Australian Ballet in 1976, a move that angered Helpmann…

Kevin Jackson and Lana Jones in Dyad 1929 (Infinity mixed bill). © Lisa Tomasetti. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Infinity Mixed Bill & Swan Lake – New York

How can a company make good impression with just a few performances of one or two programs? The pieces have to be representative, interesting, and show the company in a the best possible light. It’s not easy, as the recent Lincoln Center performances of Australian Ballet have shown.

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