QUT Gardens Theatre (Queensland Ballet)

Daring, original, passionate – Bespoke presents four new contemporary dance works by local choreographers.

 We move among the spices and perfumes of the famous Silk Road in Caravanserai, choreographed by Paul Boyd. This takes us through an exotic  pattern of the merchants and travellers after arrival, through bartering,  celebration and mystery. 

For something completely different, the second work, Fallen, choreographed by the brilliant Natalie Weir, explores the torment of a man trapped in a small space, alone. The corps de ballet is like a Greek chorus, weeping and wailing over the man’s predicament. Weir takes inspiration from the Schubert’s Winterreise, based on the evocative poems of Wilhelm Muller. Weir has a gift for expressing through dance the dimensions of heart and soul revealed through poetry and prose. A quarter century ago, your reviewer wept at the beauty of Weir’s choreography of Wuthering Heights, based on Emily Bronte’s novel, at Dance North in Townsville. Her profound, creative contribution to dance in Queensland continues to excite and inspire.

After interval, the audience is treated to a dynamic, fun piece based on the world of (would-you-believe?) pro wrestling in Mind your Head, choreographed by Jack Lister. It’s a knockout! The dancers throw themselves into the physical virtuosity of wrestling’s carefully choreographed mayhem with bullish vigour, to the pop music of The Flamingos, Benny Goodman and Sandy Nelson. Principal Artist Lucy Green captures the raw emotion of wrestling combat. It ain’t Swan Lake but I like it.

Choreographer Rani Luther describes her work From.To. Here  as inspired by the brave journey of people moving to a new country”, and set to an original score by Robert Davidson  The dancers explore the geographical and emotional journey of migration in a beautiful piece which is a fitting end to an evening of fresh, new exploration in dance. Principal Artist Camilo Ramos dances with virtuosity and passion.

 Like any art form, dance needs to grow and change in order to be alive. It is good to see the Queensland Ballet  providing opportunities for local Queensland choreographers to explore their creative vision through  commissioning new dance works in the annual production of Bespoke.


Music by Osvaldo Golijov, Alan Pierson, James Tawardros, Uzeyor Hajibeyov, Franz Schubert, The Flamingos, Benny Goodman, Sandy Nelson and Robert Davidson 

Orchestra recorded by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra

Performance time 2 hours with one 20 minute interval

Runs 7th to 17th October 2021

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Tue 12th October 2021)

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