Tag Archive: Rina Nemoto

The Full Package

“Marguerite and Armand”/“The Dream”
The Australian Ballet
Sydney Opera House/Joan Sutherland Theatre
Sydney, Australia
November 21, 2023 (livestream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. N.Brook (Armand), “Marguerite and Armand” by F.Ashton, The Australian Ballet 2023 © D.Boud The last new program of the Australian Ballet’s 60th anniversary season was an all-in-one package. Its two Ashton ballets – “Marguerite and Armand” (1963) and “The Dream” (1964) – showcased the dancers’ prowess and satisfied the audience’s appetite for both the tragic and the comic while at the same time celebrating the company’s historic connection to the Royal Ballet. This connection has been of the most pleasant nature as became evident in the interview that the livestream’s presenter, Catherine Murphy, and the artistic director, David Hallberg, conducted with Berry Wordsworth. Wordsworth, the Royal Ballet’s former music director, joined the Opera Australia Orchestra to conduct the Ashton program. As he recalled Ashton’s creative passion and the friendship between Peggy van Praagh, the Australian Ballet’s founder, and her London counterpart, the Royal Ballet’s Dame Ninette de Valois, one could sense that the buoyant spirit of the good old days is still vibrant. Furthermore, warmth and good humor dominated the add-on program and included additional backstage interviews and videos. (more…)


“Swan Lake”
The Australian Ballet
Arts Centre Melbourne / State Theatre
Melbourne, Australia
September 29, 2023 (livestream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf

1. B.Bemet (Odette), J.Caley (Prince Siegfried), and ensemble, “Swan Lake” by A.Woolliams after M.Petipa, The Australian Ballet 2023 © K.Longley The sixtieth anniversary season of the Australian Ballet called for the crème de la crème of classical ballet: “Swan Lake”. Of the several versions kept in the company’s archive, artistic director David Hallberg decided to reinvent Anne Woolliams’s 1977 rendition. Hallberg, for whom this project marked his debut as a director, commissioned a fresh look, but kept 95% of Woolliams’s choreography. The remaining parts were contributed not by himself (“I’m definitely not a choreographer”, he stated during last Friday’s livestream), but by the Australian choreographer Lucas Jervies.

Woolliams’s “Swan Lake” opens with a prologue, in which the malicious von Rothbart casts a spell over captivated maidens, transforming them into obedient swans. The following four acts are in line with the traditional libretto, but include some noteworthy details. At his birthday party, the prince doesn’t meet his potential fiancées face-to-face, but is confronted with a political choice between the crowns presented by ambassadors from Spain, Hungary, and Italy. The related princesses only attend the ball in Act III, where they lead their country’s delegation of folk dancers. (more…)