The International Gala of the Queensland Ballet annually brings overseas stars to perform with local dancers for a special event. This year has the added piquancy of being the fifteenth and final Gala created by retiring artistic director Francois Klaus.
Natalie Kusch, brilliant soloist of the Vienna State Opera Ballet, performs the Bluebird pas de deux from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty with Queensland Ballet dancer, Yu Hui. This magnificent performance of Tchaikovsky’s work symbolises the bringing together of the global and the local.
It is especially pleasing to see the performances of successful graduates of the Queensland Ballet’s Professional Year, a training program created and co-ordinated by artistic associate Robyn White. One such graduate is Chantelle Kerr, a soloist at Semperoper Ballet, Dresden, who dances a pas de deux from New Sleep with John Vallego, choreographed by William Forsythe to the music of Thom Villems.
Principal dancer Rachel Walsh dances beautifully with Piran Scott in the Act 3 pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Francois Klaus to the music of Sergei Prokofiev.
Collaboration with and encouragement of local artists have been hallmarks of Klaus’s time with the Queensland Ballet. This Gala showcases the work of another Professional Year graduate, Gareth Belling, who has created Bittersweet for this Gala with Brisbane-based quartet the Four Elements, playing the music of Vivaldi.
Daniel Gaudiello of the Australian Ballet teams up with Natalie Kusch of the Vienna State Opera Ballet to perform the grand pas de deux from Le Corsaire. with costumes designed by the Vienna State Opera Ballet and the Australian Ballet.
Gifted local didgeridoo artist William Barton provides the inspiration for Timeless Dancers choreographed by Francois Klaus. This piece celebrates the great musical tradition of Aboriginal Australia within the international language of dance.
This International Gala is a spectacle of brief but delightful pieces. It exemplifies the creativity and nurturing which Klaus and White have brought to the Queensland Ballet over the past decade and a half.
Artistic direction: Francois Klaus
Performances: 3-5 August 2012