Arts

The Australian Ballet is bringing its intricate new show exclusively to Adelaide next week

Showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Counterpointe is a powerfully energetic show that will drive the audience forward through ballet’s fascinating evolution.

Contemporary force meets classical sophistication – Counterpointe is coming exclusively to Adelaide this year.

Following sold out performances of Anna Karenina in 2022, The Australian Ballet, returns to Adelaide to present its powerful and energetic program, Counterpointe, at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 8-13 July.

Showcasing ballet as pristine tradition and contemporary force, Counterpointe pairs an excerpt from the elegant 19th-century classic Raymonda with the mesmerising complexity of Artifact Suite, by the radically inventive choreographer William Forsythe, and adds George Balanchine’s beloved Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.

The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg says, “Counterpointe is a powerfully energetic program that will drive the audience forward through ballet’s fascinating evolution.

“The juxtaposition of Raymonda and Artifact Suite shows the evolution of classical ballet. Raymonda adheres to tradition and pageantry; Forsythe took this history and ‘imitated’ it, creating a work that overwhelms both dancers and audience with gestural references given new meaning. These seminal works both counteract and perfectly complement each other,” Hallberg continued.

Choreographed by the grandfather of classical ballet, Marius Petipa, the ACT III wedding scene of Raymonda will see dancers of The Australian Ballet revel in a performance of pure ballet. Just as he did in The Sleeping Beauty and Paquita, Petipa makes the wedding of the hero and heroine an opportunity for a sparkling display of classical technique; its Hungarian-inflected dances culminate in one of ballet’s most famous solos for a leading ballerina.

“Raymonda is classical ballet at its most refined, gestural, and formal. It shows the dancer’s ability to master classical ballet at its most demanding and stylised,” Hallberg said.

The program then moves on to Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, one of Balanchine’s most enjoyable gala pieces. Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, with its lyrical duet and delicate female variation, its explosive jumps and fish dives is a tribute to Petipa’s grand pas de deux but it also has the speed and attack that give Balanchine’s choreography an edge of risk and modernity.

Counterpointe gives us the extremes of ballet in contrast and conversation. Counterpointe will conclude with 45 minutes of powerful movement in Forsythe’s Artifact Suite. Artifact Suite, a stunningly intricate ensemble work, showcases Forsythe’s ground-breaking style: clarified speed, extensions of form and dynamically fast weight changes.

Fierce, fast pas de deux are framed by the mathematically precise movement of the corps in this electrifying work. “Forsythe’s Artifact Suite is a powerful surge of physical prowess. It offers the audience and dancer equal pleasure in answering the question of how far the body can pull, reach, and stretch. It’s a perfect modern showcase for the talent of The Australian Ballet and an influential work that ’m thrilled to bring to Adelaide audiences,” Hallberg continued.

Counterpointe is an experience not to be missed for the aficionado and if you’re new to the art form, it’s a perfect introduction to ballet.

Counterpointe is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 8 – 13 July.

Tickets start from $38 and can be purchased here.

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