By Sally Heathcote
Did you know Australian Ballet dancers practice six days a week to maintain their peak fitness?
Or that the company’s dancers go through 7500 ballet shoes a year (including men’s and women’s flat slippers).
Of those, 5000 are pointe shoes that allow the dancer to move on the tips of their toes. Even more surprising, the dancers often do their own hair and makeup and sometimes they even buy it themselves.
Who knows what chookas means?
These and other questions could be answered when Broken Hill has a free opportunity to watch one of the Australian Ballet’s touring troupe’s classes at 11.30 on Saturday August 13 at the Broken Hill Civic Centre as part of the Australian Ballet’s Regional tour.
The regional tour which is returning after two years hiatus during Covid also includes performances in Launceston, Hobart, Mildura, Bendigo, Alice Springs and Darwin.
The Broken Hill performance will include a repertoire of classical and contemporary works, including a selection of pas de deux – dances for two people – and pieces from Swan Lake, as well as a tribute to Tchaikovsky especially choreographed for the regional tour.
Dancers include artists from the Australian Ballet along with students of The Australian Ballet School for whom the opportunity to tour represents a significant milestone in their careers and a rite of passage as leading emerging artists.
Tickets for the performance on Saturday night can be purchased from the Civic Centre. To attend the class is free but bookings through the Australian Ballet’s website are essential.
As for chookas! Well, it’s the Australian dance equivalent of “break a leg” – a way to wish performers good luck with the show without bringing bad luck.