Spring is always an exciting time. All the big companies reveal their upcoming season, filling us with anticipation for the year to come. This year, the Grands Ballets’ season launch goes beyond the usual excitement of revealing the shows that will fill our cultural calendars for 2016-2017. They have not one, not two, but a whole slew of news and events that really up the ante. Tuesday night at the Theatre Maisonneuve dancers, fans, and media all gathered to finally get the answers to our burning questions: what shows can we look forward to? When will the Wilder building be ready? And, the real nail biter, who will be appointed as the new artistic director?
Last week, in only two days, the Australian Ballet packed the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House twice… for two completely different shows. A bold and tricky decision by the company to showcase as much versatility as possible during its Sydney season, it gave viewers an opportunity to be overwhelmed with culture as they devoted themselves to the ballet for two nights in a row (though some season ticket holders complained of being forced to choose between shows and purchase extra tickets if they wanted to attend both). Was it a smooth move, or a recipe for disaster?
On May 1, the Australian Ballet presented their final Sydney performance of Chroma, an intense contemporary triple bill including works by Wayne McGregor, Jiří Kylián, and a new piece by resident choreographer Stephen Baynes. First was Chroma, the title piece of the show and McGregor’s epic choreography that has set the bar for contemporary performance since it was first shown at the Royal Opera House in 2006.