October has arrived and, for those who live in the middle of the dance, this means two things: rehearsal season (come, festival!) And, of course, World Ballet Day! This broadcast that contemplates five of the biggest dance companies in the world has already become a tradition.
And, since 2015, we follow everything and leave our record here!
(Want to see our files? Click on here for 2015, on here for 2016 and on here for 2017).
As in every year, the Australian Ballet opens the broadcast. Many people criticized the participation of the presenter, Tegan Higginbothan, and the professionals who commented on the broadcast with her (in class, it was David McAllister, artistic director of the company, while in rehearsals it was the dancer Jarryd Madden, senior artist).
There really was a lot of talk, a lot of curiosities and a lot of explanation on the Australian side. But I honestly didn’t feel uncomfortable. I think it’s cool that this event is attractive both for those who don’t know much about ballet (step, logistics, the hierarchy of companies) as well as for those who already know how to do it. I came out more cultured!
The class was taught by Fiona Tonkin, Australian’s principal “coach”. I drooled in the steps demonstrations! What beautiful feet, how clean the movements! A hit. And it’s no wonder: Fiona was the company’s first dancer and has been retired from the stage since 1993. She and David, incidentally, danced together! Want to see? Has a video on here!
Her class is very, very technical. At the bar, many tendencies and exercises to warm up the inner thigh muscles. She asks for attention in the positions, especially in passages in the step (for example, to mark well the first position in the ronde de jambe) and above all agility in the closing of the farms.
In the center, more of the same. There are several steps in the practical center, with tendencies, change of direction and weight transfer. The transition to pirouettes is smooth: first a relevé, then a simple pirouette and only then double and triple. I found it interesting!
The adagio is beeeeeeem difficult! Lots of weight transfer and promenade. Even Jarryd complained … The allegros had many more complex batteries and combinations. I found the big jumps the most difficult part of the class! But, in compensation, the staff left ‘ready’ for the rehearsals!
Speaking of rehearsals …
The first won my heart with kindness: the ‘vision’, from the second act of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ a little ‘unknown’ part of that classic. And I liked it even more because Amy Harris, one of my favorite Australian Ballet dancers – recently promoted to lead artist – played the Lilac Fairy. Robyn Hendricks and Ty King Wall were Aurora and Désiré, respectively.
The high point was to see the cleanliness of the ballet and the instructions of Rep. Elizabeth Toohey. Everything has been inspected. Good tips for those who rehearse or are part of the dance corps!
We had essays by Cinderella, Coppélia, Giselle and Aurum, choreography by Alice Topp that is part of a contemporary project, Verve, which brings together works by Australian professionals. I found the choreography wonderful, especially the duo of Coco Mathieson and Adam Bull.
The last trial was Spartacus. I confess that this is not, by far, my favorite ballet. But I loved the dynamics and the delivery of the dancers. The chemistry between Robin and Kevin Jackson is incredible!
And the rehearsal of the fight scene is really fun … It’s worth checking out!
In the end, I was sad not to see Lana Jones, another Australian Ballet dancer I love. But I was happy to see that she will dance Sylvia, a ballet that is on the company’s 2019 schedule. Now we have to wait for the production!
See the participation of the Australian Ballet here:
Tegan (presenter) and Jarryd Madden (right) interview Brett Chenowett and Amy Harris, new principals (Photo: Reproduction)
Fiona Tonkin, teacher
Port de bras in class
Sleeping Beauty Essay
Amy Harris and Jarryd Madden (colleagues and married!)
Leanne Stojmenov and Ty King Wall in Cinderella
Luke Marchant and Jill Ogai in Coppélia
Luke Marchant and Jill Ogai in Coppélia
Ballroom rehearses Giselle
Leanne Stojmenov and Adam Bull in Giselle
Leanne Stojmenov and Adam Bull in the traditional pose of Giselle
Australian Ballet has an adult class!
Robyn Hendricks and Kevin Jackson, Australian Ballet (Photo: Reproduction)