The Australian Ballet is in Broken Hill for one performance on Saturday, August 13 to showcase their skills and give locals a taste of professional ballet.
The new Artistic Director at the dance troupe, David Hallberg, said the regional tour offered Ballet lovers outside the capital cities an opportunity to enjoy the magic of dance.
“Our Regional Tour is a vital link to ballet-loving audiences around the country,” Mr Hallberg said.
Australian Ballet’s former artistic director David McAllister choreographed the Swan Lake Variations, which will be performed, along with excerpts from Flames of Paris, La Bayadere, Concerto “Piano concerto No 1” 2nd Movement.
New works are also included in the performance, In a landscape by Tim Harbour and The Vow by Lucas Jervies.
One of the dancers who will be in Broken Hill, Riley Lapham, explained that she trained in Wollongong until age 14, when she moved to Melbourne to attend the Australian Ballet School full time.
After graduation, Ms Lapham won a contract with the Australian Ballet Company in 2019 and was promoted to Coryphée in 2021.
“Coryphée is the rank below soloist and above quarter ballet. You’re one of four women dancing on stage, rather than one of 12, or on your own,” Ms Lapham said.
There are fundamental differences between a City performance and a regional tour and how audiences respond to the ballet.
“Regional audiences are always appreciative of our performances and tell us they don’t often have the opportunity to see professional ballet dancers,” she said.
“The regional tour feels like a very positive thing to be doing for other people. I enjoy being able to bring the joy of ballet as a form of escapism to people who don’t usually get to experience that through a ballet performance,” Ms Lapham said.
Another difference between a regional tour and a city program is the size and hardness of the stage, said Ms Lapham.
The dance pieces being performed in Broken Hill are choreographed specifically for the regional stages, they are very different from the pieces in Melbourne.
“Regional stages are smaller and harder than the main stages in Sydney and Melbourne, which are fully sprung,” said Ms Lapham.
“It is much harder on the body, you feel it in your joints and body,” she said.
“I hope audiences leave feeling joyful and entertained and that some dances are inspiring.
“I hope that audiences get to see professional ballet dancers perform.”
People can watch the dancers take a class on stage and see how they fine-tune their technique in preparation for a performance at 11.30am next Saturday.
This class is the opportunity for people to book a theatre seat to have a behind-the-scenes at what it takes to prepare for a performance.
The dancers’ rehearsal and training schedule for this performance are rigorous.
They begin their day with a 75-minute class 6 days a week to refine their technique and warm up for the day, then rehearse rigorously from 12.30pm to 6.30pm.
The dancers also complete a pilates and gym workout created by strengthening specialists.
After Broken Hill, the Australian Ballet will perform in Darwin and Alice Springs before returning to Melbourne.
While others are currently rehearsing for the Melbourne main stage program, the Australian Ballet dancers on the regional tour have two weeks before they perform in Melbourne and will have to catch up quickly.
The Australian Ballet hopes to sightsee the area before travelling to the Northern Territory.
Broken Hill kids get chance to join Australian Ballet for free dance and storytelling event
Broken Hill kids are invited to join the Australian Ballet for a free dance and storytelling event, Dancing Story, on Saturday, August 13.
The Australian Ballet is holding two educational and outreach workshops, one for 3-5 and 5-7 year olds.
This free event allows children to explore The Story of Pomi and Gooba through a dance workshop.
The Story of Pomi and Gooba is about two frogs who don’t feel like they fit in.
They become friends and put their strengths to good use to escape a wild storm.
One workshop is designed for preschool-aged children and the other for children between the ages of 5 and 7.
The workshops are available to all children regardless of learning styles or physical abilities and are led by members of the Australian Ballet’s Education and Outreach team.
Bookings for the workshop are essential and can be made via the Eventbrite website.
The session for 3-5 year olds is between 10:30am to 11:15am and can be booked at https://bit.ly/3v6IsHI.
The session for 5-7 year olds is between 11:30am to 12:15pm and can be booked at https://bit.ly/3IWYR7n.
No dance experience is required.