West Australian Ballet is looking forward to a year full of dance in 2021. Australia’s oldest ballet company will commence its 69th year, and The Company’s Season 2021 with As One: Ballet at the Quarry, a triple bill of contemporary dance works as a part of Perth Festival in February. The season will be led by artistic director, Aurélien Scannella, for the ninth year.
The first work comes from Australian choreographer, Natalie Weir. It is an ensemble piece with twenty West Australian Ballet dancers set to a re-composition of Vivalid’s 4Seasons by Max Richter. The work was first premiered by Expressions Dance Company and City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong) in 2018. Dayana Hardy Acuña, and soloist, Juan Carlos Osma, will adapt a work created for the (digital) gala performance of the South African International Ballet Competition in 2020 into a longer piece for eleven dancers. Their Moment of Joy will be set to a live virtuosic piano performed by West Australian Ballet Head of Music Michael Brett. The third work, Heartache, is a conceptual piece created collaboratively with a number of the Company’s dancers. The group, led by Aurélien Scannella and principal rehearsal director and artistic associate Sandy Delasalle, will fuse powerful pas de deux and solos created by Sandy Delasalle, Polly Hilton, Jesse Homes, Matthew Lehmann, Claire Voss and Jack Whiter.
In March, the dancers will take over their headquarters in Maylands for the Company’s annual creative showcase in which dancers will choreograph works on one another in Genesis.
Scannella and Delasalle’s acclaimed version of Giselle will herald the return to West Australian Ballet’s spiritual home at His Majesty’s Theatre in May. It will be set to Adolphe Adam’s score and performed live with West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
The long-awaited debut season of State will take place in the Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre of WA in June and July, following the cancellation in 2020. State will include a new creation from Helpmann Award nominee and highly regarded Javanese-Australian Choreographer Melanie Lane, who will collaborate with musical artist, Clark, on a new World Premiere work.
Company dancer, Adam Alzaim, will present Gainsbourg, an original work that builds upon his humorous Genesis works from 2018 and 2019.
Finally, after its cancellation in 2020, Graeme Murphy’s, Air and Other Invisible Forces will be performed, with a 45-minute excerpt of the award-winning work. West Australian Ballet is the only Company outside of Sydney Dance Company to have performed this work.
In September, Greg Horsman’s adaption of Coppélia will be performed in His Majesty’s Theatre. Set in South Australia’s Hahndorf, this adaption of the classical work features characters inspired by late 19th century Australia and will be performed alongside West Australian Symphony Orchestra to the music of Léo Delibes.
Scannella’s trademark festive season family ballets will round off the year. Javier Torres’ The Sleeping Beauty will make its long-awaited Australian premiere at His Majesty’s Theatre in November and December. The State Ballet Company is also in the final planning stages to tour to Karratha, Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and will continue the many access and outreach activities such as school matineés, adult classes at the West Australian Ballet Centre, community dress rehearsals and the popular junior members program.
- CANDIDE MCDONALD