After much anticipation, the wait is over! As the Queensland Performing Arts Centre has announced, members of The Royal Ballet have arrived in Brisbane for the Company’s first Australian visit for almost 20 years.
Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed The Royal Ballet to Queensland ahead of its residency at as part of the acclaimed QPAC International Series, an ongoing event that has previously seen ballet titans the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre give Brisbane-exclusive performances.
“I know all Queenslanders join me in welcoming The Royal Ballet, which will present award winning productions of Woolf Works and The Winter’s Tale, (29 June to 9 July 2017) at QPAC for the first time outside of the Company’shome in London’s Covent Garden,” she said.
“More than 160 company members, including The Royal Opera House Chief Executive, Alex Beard, The Royal Ballet Director, Kevin O’ Hare, Choreographers Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon, and 85 dancers are arriving in Brisbane ahead of the company’s exclusive Queensland visit.
“In addition, The Royal Ballet has travelled with the largest prop ever built by the Royal Opera House. The spectacular 9-metre high and 11-metre wide tree is a key set element in the production The Winter’s Tale.
“I am proud that my Government through Tourism and Events Queensland has continued to support QPAC’s International Series to enable the exclusive presentations of the world’s best performance companies here in Queensland.
“In a wonderful addition to their QPAC performances, and in a first for the QPAC International Series, a contingent of the Company’s dancers will also travel to Cairns for a one night only Gala performance in the Munro Martin Parklands on 12 July 2017.
“By extending the reach of QPAC’s International Series and creating opportunities for cultural exchange across Queensland, it is building a tangible legacy for the state’s cultural sector and for our communities and furthers Queensland’s reputation as a vibrant cultural destination,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones also welcomed Britain’s flagship ballet company highlighting the benefits that nationally exclusive cultural events such as the season by The Royal Ballet bring to Queensland.
“Over the past seven years of the QPAC International Series, on average a third of season audiences travelled from outside of Brisbane to see performances stimulating visitation and the local economy in Queensland,” Minister Jones said.
“This year, Brisbane and Cairns will play host to ballet ‘royalty’ and we look forward to welcoming visitors to both cities for this extraordinary cultural program,” she said.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas highlighted the broad program of events and activity that surrounds the season and is designed to offer audiences and the public a way to connect with the Company, the themes and relevance of the two works and their own creative practice.
“Through The Royal Ballet season we celebrate exquisite artistry and phenomenal athleticism as well as the role dance and movement plays in our everyday lives. It’s no accident we have projects called We All Dance and Let’s Dance!
“Dance and movement can strengthen our social connections, promote physical and mental health and create a lot of joy.
“We are committed to creating live performance experiences for all Queenslanders. Following the ballet’s season at QPAC, an ensemble of dancers will travel to Cairns to perform a one night only Gala Performance in Munro Martin Parklands. The specially curated program will include a series of short solo and pas de deux works from Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote as well as others,” said Mr Kotzas.
(Sources: in-house and QPAC.)