Two generations of Australian ballet talent come together to present Edge of night for The Australian Ballet in 2010. In keeping with the company’s vision of caring for tradition while daring to be different, Edge of night is a triple bill where resident choreographer Stephen Baynes presents two critically acclaimed works alongside a world premiere for rising star Tim Harbour.
Baynes and Harbour both trained with The Australian Ballet School, danced for many years with The Australian Ballet, and now create beautiful works for its artists to perform. For Artistic Director David McAllister, Baynes and Harbour come together in Edge of night to showcase the very best traits of Australian choreography. “It’s all about having a willingness to take risks, opting for a bold and playful approach, and ensuring there is an ongoing respect for classical ballet technique,” McAllister said.
When Baynes’ Molto Vivace premiered in 2003, Handel’s score was accompanied by the sound of dropping jaws. Boldly colourful, playful and laugh-out-loud funny, it showed the future of ballet was bright indeed.
In contrast, the achingly romantic At the edge of night shows a very different side to Baynes’ work. Set to seven preludes by Sergei Rachmaninov, the music, says Baynes “speaks of a nostalgic yearning, of idyllic dreams, of pride and passion.” And so does the ballet.
Harbour’s mainstage debut for The Australian Ballet, Halcyon, completes the bill. A dancer with The Australian Ballet for 13 years, Harbour has had a meteoric rise as a choreographer. After a succession of critically acclaimed works for the company’s Bodytorque series, and commissions for Australian companies, a chance spotting by Christopher Wheeldon saw him recruited to create a ballet for the New-York based Morphoses in late 2009.
Based on a Greek myth and set to a specially commissioned score from Gerard Brophy, Harbour’s Halcyon will be a much anticipated debut. The tradition of nurturing choreographic talent has continued under a number of Artistic Directors at The Australian Ballet. Both Baynes and Harbour are an inspiration to the next generation of Australian choreographers and prove the importance of nurturing talent to produce the major artists of tomorrow. Edge of night showcases just this.
Sydney 11 – 29 November
Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House
with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Melbourne 26 August – 4 September
State Theatre, the Arts Centre
with Orchestra Victoria
Bookings or 1300 369 741
AT THE EDGE OF NIGHT (1997)
Choreography Stephen Baynes
Music Sergei Rachmaninov
Set and costume design Michael Pearce
Lighting design Stephen Wickham
Choreography Tim Harbour
Music Gerard Brophy
Costume design Alexis George
Stage concept and lighting design Bluebottle
MOLTO VIVACE (2003)
Choreography Stephen Baynes
Music George Frideric Handel
Costume design Anna French
Set design Richard Roberts
SUPPORTED BY THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET ENDOWMENT
Tim Harbour's choreography supported by The Robert Southey Fund for Australian Choreography, endowed by The Sidney Myer Fund.
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