The Queensland Ballet Academy rejoiced on all fronts on the opening night of its inaugural gala. In addition to celebrating the talents of its cohort, the Academy was also reveling in the success of its one-day fundraising campaign to support the fit-out of its new bespoke premises at Kelvin Grove College, as well as the recent approval of the Academy as a partner school of the Prix du Lausanne.
The Gala program was an eclectic mix of tradition and modernity, by legendary and contemporary choreographers, opening with a slightly abbreviated version of Fokine The Sylphids. This deceptively simple ballet was performed by dancers from Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Senior Program with piano accompaniment by Brett Sturdy.
by Paul Boyd fertile soil, for the Pre-Pro Program (PPP) cohort, followed – a showcase of precision and athleticism, especially for men. Levels 1 and 2 concluded the first half with animated gypsy dances of Don Quixote.
Dancing the exquisite second movement of Sir Kenneth MacMillan ConcertoAcademy graduates and now Queensland Ballet (QB) artists Libby-Rose Niederer and Liam Geck were a highlight of the second half of the program, along with QB lead artists Laura Hidalgo and Victor Estevez, in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella no two.
Otherwise the diversity of the dancers of the Academy was well highlighted with two stylistically different contemporary works by Louise Deleur, Earth and Walk – the latter for levels 2 and 3, using light and sound to great visual and comedic effect. These dancers were also featured in a very lively and engaging ‘Tarentelle’, from Bournonville’s Naples.
The program culminated in a highly drilled Grand Parade by all dancers, from the youngest Level 4 dancers, aged around 14, to the final year, pre-professional dancers, who will receive either an offer from Queensland Ballet in the coming months will either be relocating to explore other dance options in Australia or overseas.
It can be a tough career, but this well-crafted gala, more accomplished than the Academy’s previous showcases, demonstrated that its dancers have an excellent chance of succeeding.
At the top of the photo, dancers from ‘Les Sylphides’.