This year The Australian Ballet said goodbye to one of its all-time stars, Lucinda Dunn. Retiring in late April after 23 years dazzling audiences across Australian stages and around the world, the company is now ripe for a new star to capture the hearts of their avid fans. There already seems to be within the ranks of The Australian Ballet a dancer fit to fill that void and then some, but it likely isn’t whom you might think. Lucinda Dunn has taken her last bow, opening the stage for a new star who has been steadily rising… and as the 2014 Sydney season has confirmed it, Chengwu Guo has earned his place in the spotlight as The Australian Ballet’s newest darling.
Today, after 23 years in the spotlight, Lucinda Dunn will dance for the last time as a prima ballerina with the Australian Ballet. Leading as Manon in the company’s last Sydney performance of Manon this season, Dunn will take her final bow on the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House around 10pm tonight.
A gorgeous girl, a love triangle, tragic deaths… It sounds like your typical ballet, but don’t be fooled. Manon was a groundbreaker for its time and is known today as a classic. It’s a gritty, gossipy tale of sex, desire and the lengths we’ll go for them.
Manon is a beautiful Parisian girl completely caught up in the shine and sparkle of wealth. She’ll do anything for more money and jewels, even let her brother, Lescaut, pimp her out to the uber-wealthy Monsieur GM. But despite her greed and selfishness there is still a man who truly loves her, des Grieux. Though she cheats on him to take advantage of her older, pocket jangling lovers, he would still kill for her. And he does. Manon lives on impulse, unhindered by the consequences of her actions until… Well, you’ll have to find out. Continue reading