Vis-a-Vis: Studio Series – Venus and Mars

Thomas Dixon Centre (Queensland Ballet)


The theme of this studio series is “Venus and Mars: There is a difference”.

Set in the intimate surroundings of the Queensland Ballet’s Charles Lisner Studio normally used for rehearsal, this series gives the audience a chance to get up close and personal with the arcane mysteries of dance.

Artistic director Francois Klaus leads us through demonstrations and excerpts from current ballets to illustrate specific dance steps. He points out the differences between the male dancers and ballerinas in training for and executing the individual moves that go to make up a choreographed work.

The youth and vigour of this company are highlighted in a demonstration with Queensland Ballet Junior Extension Program students. These stars of tomorrow mingle with the artists of the Queensland Ballet. Their passion and skill augur well for the future.

This session is very different from the studio series presented in April and May which focussed on the theme of timing. It retains a sense of wonder at the audience being able to go behind the scenes to explore the minutiae and magic of the dance.

It is good to see the dancers being given an opportunity at choreography. Nathan Scicluna performs with Clare Morehen a piece entitled “Rendezvous” which he choreographed to the music of a Bach cello suite.

Rachael Walsh is stunning in her pas de deux from “The Lady of the Camellias” danced with Christian Tatchev to the music of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

A vivid touch of comedy is injected into the evening in a facade fantasy from “Fonteyn Remembered” to the music of Shostakovich. Teri Crilly again shows the cheeky, comic flair which she characteristically brings to QB productions.

The atmosphere of the rehearsal studio gives the audience an insight not only into the mechanics of creating a performance but also into the art and craft of dancers working and learning together. It is a special kind of evening.

Choreography and direction by Francois Klaus
Running Time: 2 hours with a 20-minute interval
Performances: 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16 July, 7.30pm and 9 July, 2pm

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Fri 15th July 2011)