International Gala

Playhouse, QPAC (Queensland Ballet)


Professional production – Queensland Ballet

The Queensland Ballet’s production of International Gala 2005 celebrates the universal language of dance. This eighth International Gala has brought to Brisbane principal dancers from the USA, Singapore and Germany to dance alongside Queensland’s best.

The evening was best enjoyed as a series of lyrical poems rather than as a coherent whole. It was difficult not to be moved by the pas de deux Façade, choreographed by Jeffrey Tan and performed by Xia Hai Ying and Jacek Bres of the Singapore Dance Theatre set to Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Op. 11, No. 2. The beauty and discipline of this piece illustrated how much there is to gain from artistic dialogue with the Asia-Pacific region.

It was also encouraging to learn that Texas can produce great beauty, despite being the home of George W. Bush. The Houston Ballet representatives Mireille Hassenboehler and Nicholas Leschke performed a stirring piece Twilight to Rachmaninov’s Elegie, Op. 3, No. 1 .

Queensland Ballet’s own principal dancer, Rachael Walsh, danced brilliantly in a contemporary version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, choreographed by Stephan Thoss. This was assisted by Masa Kolar and Zoran Markovic of the Ballett der Staatsoper of Hanover who returned to Queensland to teach the Queensland Ballet dancers an extract from Stephan Thoss’s reinterpretation of the classic.

While a gala evening does not have the satisfying artistic integrity of a complete work of art, yet it has its own charm. The evening buzzed with ideas and connections to the international world of dance.

This short season remains a highlight of Queensland’s dance calendar.

Played 5 – 7 August 2005

Running time: 2 hours, including interval

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Thu 4th August 2005)