With Attitude

(Queensland Ballet)


The Queensland Ballet’s production of … With Attitude has finished the year for the company with a splash of innovation and beauty, and for those seeking more challenging fare than The Nutcracker these four contemporary pieces offered much to think about and admire.

Globe-trotting Queensland choreographer Natalie Weir introduced a powerful new work The Unwritten, inspired directly by the haunting music of Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead and Arnold Bocklin’s 1886 painting which itself inspired the composer. Principal dancer Rachael Walsh exquisitely captured the spirituality of the piece, while Weir’s choreography set out in novel ways the journey of a man, out of step with humanity, unable to move on in his life, or towards his death, as he is haunted by the memory of his love of a woman.

Earlier in the evening, the classical purity of the music of J.S. Bach was celebrated in a work called Back to Bach, choreographed by the Queensland Ballet’s artistic director Francois Klaus.

The dark world of Berlin Cabaret in the 1930s came through the work Hat Over Heels choreographed by Timothy Brown, the music of Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas” and Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song” giving the piece a sharp edge, while the stark black costumes designed by Timothy Brown and Louise Jerard suited the work perfectly.

It is great to see the Queensland Ballet commissioning original Australian works of international standard. While the classical works of the ballet repertoire will be forever popular, the willingness of this company to commission new original works is vital to its artistic integrity and to the role it plays in our community. Opera Queensland could take a leaf from their book.

Played 1 – 9 December 2005

Duration: 2 hours, including interval

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Thu 8th December 2005)