International Gala 2008

QPAC Playhouse (Queensland Ballet)


Queenslands Ballet’s International Gala is an annual event not to be missed. It brings together dancers from throughout the world to perform with the QB . This years’ Gala is a dazzling series of pieces evoking beauty and delight.

The evening begins with a nostalgic look back over the 10 years of Francois Klaus’s time as artistic director. The audience has the odd experience of seeing Carmen and the Little Mermaid on stage at the same time as the characters from a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A solo performance by the Dutch freelance artist Ilja Louwen of “Isabel in a Slip” to the music of J.S. Bach is truly stunning. This Dutch artist danced as principal with Les Ballets De Monte Carlo before moving to Ballet Victor Ullate in Madrid.

The evening includes a wide range of pas de deux from Giselle, Hamlet, Nutcracker, Autumn and Bellulus.

For the first time Brisbane welcomed two international guest dancers, Christian Tatchev and Zenia Tutcheva, both from the South Australian Ballet. Their dances from Hamlet and from the Nutcracker are performed with elegance and precision.

An evening of short pieces does not allow for the drama and plot developments of a full-length ballet but an occasional event such as this is a wonderful showcase of virtuosity. The absence of sets highlights the elemental power of the dance. Form and movement speak the international language of dance in a primal way.

This international gala is a fitting celebration of Klaus’s successful artistic stewardship over these last 10 years.

It would be even better if governments could find the funding to enable the Queensland Ballet to have a live orchestra instead of having to rely upon recorded music. Notwithstanding this difficulty the dancers of the Queensland Ballet perform brilliantly.

Unfortunately, principal dancer Rachael Walsh was unable to dance due to injury. Her adoring public wish her a speedy recovery. Playing: 8–10 August 2008

Duration: 2 hours including one interval of 20 minutes

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Fri 8th August 2008)