The Australian Ballet will premiere a new version of Spartacus in 2018, choreographed and reimagined by Lucas Jervies. The ballet is particularly popular with Australian audiences, with the company’s 1990 production a perennial favourite.
The company will also pay tribute to choreographer Graeme Murphy, who joined The Australian Ballet 50 years ago. Murphy is a kind of greatest hits package, featuring highlights from his career, including his Firebird.
In addition to these new works, the season features revivals of productions commissioned specifically for The Australian Ballet, including The Merry Widow, which was the first full-length ballet to be commissioned by the company in 1975.
Artistic Director David McAllister said: “We are very proud to be presenting a year dedicated to works created on The Australian Ballet. Our 2018 season is a tribute to the incredible talent that we have here in Australia and demonstrates The Australian Ballet’s capacity to tap into leading creatives in the world of ballet. This is a moment I’m really honoured to be a part of. To be able to share these works with our audiences brings this celebration of Australian creativity full circle.”
Much like Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet’s season is dominated by male creatives, with clear gender disparity. Of the nine choreographers whose work is featured in the season, just one is a woman (Alice Topp, whose work features in the contemporary triple bill Verve). Just six of the 46 creative roles (or 15% of the creative roles) listed on the company’s website are filled by women.
The season features exclusively the work of male composers, with all costumes and sets designed by men. But most of the productions will be conducted by a woman, the company’s long-standing music director and chief conductor Nicolette Fraillon.
AUSTRALIAN BALLET SEASON 2018
Choreographed by Graeme Murphy
The Australian Ballet pays tribute to Graeme Murphy in the 50th year since he joined the company. The program will feature a revival of his Firebird alongside highlights from his career.
THE MERRY WIDOW
Scenario by Robert Helpmann, choreographed by Ronald Hynd
The company will revive its sumptuous and beloved production based on Franz Lehár’s operetta of the same name.
Constant Variations choreographed by Stephen Baynes, Filigree and Shadow choreographed by Tim Harbour, and a new work choreographed by Alice Topp
The company’s contemporary triple bill will play Melbourne in 2018, with revivals of two works and a new piece by Alice Topp.
Choreographed by Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli, production by Maina Gielgud
Maina Gielgud’s popular production of the romantic classic returns.
Choreographed by Lucas Jervies
The company will premiere a new version of one of its most popular works, the story of the gladiator who led a slaves’ rebellion against the Roman empire. Young choreographer Lucas Jervies will lead the production with Imara Savage serving as dramaturg.
Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky
Alexei Ratmansky’s family-friendly Cinderella is set between the European wars and was created for the Australian Ballet in 2013.