The Australian Ballet’s 2016 programme that features exciting new works alongside perennial favourites, blending timeless classics and contemporary works, will have wide appeal. The season brings audiences the return of such popular classics as “Coppélia”, “Swan Lake” and “Romeo & Juliet” plus world premiere works by rising ballet stars. A highlight of the season is the Australian premiere of the masterpiece “Nijinsky”.

Founded in 1962, The Australian Ballet has been delivering extraordinary performances for over 50 years and is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. From its earliest days, a commitment to artistic excellence plus a willingness to take risks have defined the company, both onstage and off. Moving effortlessly between great classical ballets and new contemporary commissions, the company has a unique Australian style, powered by artistry and athleticism. The company exists to inspire, delight and challenge audiences through the quality of its performances.


“Swan Lake”, a perennial favourite, returns with an encore of Stephen Baynes’ classic. This ageless ballet has enchanted audiences for a century and has special significance for the Company, as it was the first ballet ever danced by The Australian Ballet in 1962 at Sydney’s Her Majesty’s Theatre. “Swan Lake” performs in Sydney from 1-20 April.

“Vitesse”, a triple bill of modern dance, brings together three of the world’s most exciting contemporary choreographers, Christopher Wheeldon, Jirí Kylián and William Forsythe for a collection of cutting edge dance. “Vitesse” performs in Sydney from 26 April-16 May.

Exclusive to Sydney, “Symphony in C” is a mixture of classical and contemporary ballet, beginning with the black and white symmetry of a George Balanchine extravaganza, followed by a selection of ballet moments showing off the art form. Highlights include the world premiere of two new works by emerging choreographers and rising stars of The Australian Ballet, Alice Topp and Richard House. Performing April 2016.


A premiere work for The Australian Ballet and the centrepiece of the 2016 season, “Nijinksy”, tells the story of the 20th century’s greatest choreographer and male dancer, a visionary who changed dance forever. Russian born Nijinsky, the male star of Ballets Russes, was celebrated for his gravity defying leaps, virtuosity and unprecedented onstage intensity, but it was his sensual choreography that sparked outrage in theatres across Europe. The tragic story of the artist’s downward spiral is told through vivid memories unfolding in the dancer’s mind during his last performance at a Swiss hotel. Performs in Sydney 11-28 November.

“Coppélia”, a frothy fairytale, brings magic, romance and plenty of lavish costumes to the story of Dr Coppelius, an eccentric toy maker, who dreams of bringing his mechanical dolls to life. Performed in the 1962 inaugural season, “Coppélia” has an important role in the Company’s history. Performs in Sydney 2-21 December.

The Australian Ballet regularly tours overseas, including New York, Tokyo, London and Paris to critical acclaim and presents over 250 shows along with audience engagement events each year.

Sandra Tiltman


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