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Australian Ballet Presents 'The Nutcracker', Featuring David Hallberg

The Australian Ballet presents an enchanting encore season of The Nutcracker, an unmissable opportunity to meet the charming Clara and her sugar-coated friends ... and a very special guest.

Returning after three sold-out cities in 2007, this magical production will bring festive cheer to Melbourne from 11 September at the Arts Centre.

Joining The Australian Ballet in Melbourne as a guest artist is David Hallberg, a principal artist with the world renowned American Ballet Theatre. Hallberg will be performing the role of the Prince for three shows during this season.

Beginning his formal ballet training at age 13, Hallberg continued his studies at the Paris Opera Ballet School. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 2001 as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist in 2004, rapidly rising to the rank of principal artist the following year.

Artistic Director David McAllister said a dancer of Hallberg's calibre was not to be missed.

"Earlier this year David took home the Benois de la Danse award for the best male dance performance, judged by an international jury of ballet luminaries; he is an absolute superstar and to
have him on stage with us will be truly special," he said.

The Nutcracker has captivated audiences for decades; a timeless classic of toy soldiers, talking mice and dancing snowflakes seen through the eyes of a little girl at Christmas.

Originally created for the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1990, English legend Sir Peter Wright's version is a visual treat. Featuring sumptuous sets and costumes worthy of a fairytale, The Nutcracker is perfectly complemented by Tchaikovsky's acclaimed score, his final ballet composition.

The Nutcracker is one of the most labour intensive productions to stage in The Australian Ballet's repertoire. The level of detail in bringing this ballet to life is extraordinary. There are over 10,000 hand-sewn beads on each Sugar Plum Fairy costume, the famed Nutcracker doll has been lovingly handcrafted, and the foliage for the five metre tall Christmas tree features no less than seven shades of green material.

Celebrated UK designer John F Macfarlane oversaw the re-creation of sets for The Australian Ballet in 2007, and his spectacular vision retains its sparkle and shine today.

The result is a breathtaking ballet that will transport even themost cynical of adults back to a childhood wonderland. Add a company of stunning dancers and the power of Tchaikovsky's immortal score, and the grand scale of this wonderful production becomes more than evident.

Acknowledged asone of the most popular ballets of all time, The Nutcracker has a rich history. The story first appeared in 1816 in a book of short tales by German writer Ernst Theador Amadeus Hoffman under the title Nussknacker und Mauskönig (Nutcracker and the Mouse King), and it made its ballet debut in 1892 in St Petersburg, Russia.

Since then, it has been reimagined countless times, including Graeme Murphy's uniquely Australian take in Nutcracker - The Story of Clara, staged to great acclaim by The Australian Ballet in 2009. Two very different interpretations illustrate the artistic depth of what appears at first glance as a simple children's tale.

Whether it's a first or fifth time, The Nutcracker is always enchanting, engaging and elegant, and will cast its extraordinary spell over the whole family.

Choreography Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon
Composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and costume design John F Macfarlane
Lighting design David Finn

Melbourne 11 - 25 September
(15 performances)
the Arts Centre, State Theatre
with Orchestra Victoria

Bookings: or call 1300 369 741

David Hallberg will be guest artist for the following
performances: Tuesday 21 September / Thursday 23 September /
Saturday 25 September evening performance.

The performances by David Hallberg are made possible by the generous support of the Joan and Peter Clemenger Trust.

Sydney 3 - 22 December
(22 performances)
Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House
with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Bookings: or call 1300 369 741


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