The Queensland Ballet has unveiled its 2024 season - the last to be curated by Artistic Director Li Cunxin before he steps down from his post.
“It is bittersweet to introduce such an incredible 2024 season filled with colour, vibrancy and bold athleticism, featuring compelling stories brought to life by dance,” he said.
The year's program will explore dreamscapes, realism and fairytales – some with an unexpected twist.
The company's expected blockbuster ballet is the rags-to-riches tale of Coco Chanel: the Life of a Fashion Icon, choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Belgian-born, part Columbian, and based in Holland, Ochoa is much in demand and has choreographed for 73 companies to date. This new work is a co-production with Hong Kong Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, and premiered in Hong Kong in early 2023, with the season selling out within 48 hours. (October 4-19, Playhouse, QPAC.)
The first ballet for the year will be the return of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an enchanting and acclaimed rendition by the late UK choreographer, Liam Scarlett. Brimming with mischief and mayhem, this enchanting comedy is beautifully enhanced by Tracy Grant Lord’s shimmering sets and Kendall Smith’s ambient lighting designs. The sublime score by Felix Mendelssohn will be performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. (April 12-27, Playhouse, QPAC.)
In June, the company will present Greg Horsman's adaptation of Coppélia, set in the South Australian hill town of Hahndorf in the late 19th century. (June 7-22, Playhouse, QPAC.) The production will tour to the Gold Coast, with three shows at Home Of The Arts (HOTA), November 1 and 2.
Also in June, the annual children's production, My First Ballet, is to be Cinderella, adapted from the QB's full-length version by Ben Stevenson. (June 20-29, Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre.)
The contemporary ballet program Bespoke will return for a seventh season, with Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri choreographer Katina Olsen, award-winning Ukrainian-Dutch choreographer Milena Sidorova, and innovative Australian choreographer Jack Lister collaborating with artists, musicians, and the dancers themselves. (July 25-August 3, Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre.)
The annual Queensland Ballet Academy Gala will take place in August, and the annual season of The Nutcracker will whisk audiences away to a winter wonderland from December 13 to 21 (Lyric Theatre, QPAC).
Queensland Ballet on Tour includes a Brisbane season Queensland Ballet at Home, revealing a treasure trove of ballet masterpieces: Three Preludes, choreographed by Ben Stevenson, Tchaikovsky Mash, choreographed by Matthew Lawrence, Le Corsaire pas de deux by Marius Petipa and A Rhapsody in Motion. The company will tour to Bundaberg, Cairns, Caloundra, Charters Towers, Goondiwindi, Maryborough and Toowoomba.
The Queensland Ballet will also present the Shanghai Ballet as part of its subscription season. The company was to have visited in 2020, with tickets sold out in advance, but was cancelled because of the pandemic. It will perform Derek Deane’s The Lady of the Camellias, in a season exclusive to Brisbane. (December 5-8, Lyric Theatre, QPAC.)