The Australian Ballet Launches 2012 Season

The Australian Ballet has launched a blockbuster program to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012.

Revealing the season repertoire in Melbourne today, Artistic Director David McAllister announced new commissions - including a traditional Swan Lake - along with classic revivals of audience favourites, an all-Australian dance party and a special international gala.

This milestone season is the culmination of a three-year program showcasing the company's rich history and achievements. McAllister says the championing of original works is a bold move into the future.

"Over 50 years, the company has developed a dynamic and unique style, and I'm so proud to have so many Australian choreographers featured in such a historic year," said McAllister.

"This really is our biggest season ever. There's traditional full-length works mixed in with more experimental triple bills, extensive national and regional tours, a free outdoor performance and a host of Education programs. We want to share our 50th birthday with as many people as possible!"

The 50th anniversary 2012 season:

• Infinity
• Onegin
• Let's Dance
• Icons
• Swan Lake
• 50th Anniversary Gala
• Romeo & Juliet
• New York international tour

Infinity brings together three trailblazers of Australian dance: Graeme Murphy, Stephen Page and Gideon Obarzanek. Each will bring their unique style to three brand-new works with a contemporary edge.

A much loved classic, John Cranko's Onegin brims with emotion and human drama. Set to a stirring Tchaikovsky score, 1820s St Petersburg will come to life in this tragic tale of lost love.

Leading dance companies around the country will join forces for a celebration in Let's Dance. Adding to the festivities will be the premiere of a new work by rising choreographic star Tim Harbour.

Pivotal works from the company's formative years will be restaged in Icons. The Display, Gemini and Beyond Twelve were all seminal works of their time and instrumental in developing the company's national dance identity.

What better birthday present to the company and Australian audiences than a new, traditional
Swan Lake choreographed by Stephen Baynes with David McAllister as creative associate and costumes designed by Hugh Colman.

In the week marking our 50th birthday, artists from the world's leading ballet companies will gather for a 50th Anniversary Gala. The Australian Ballet will showcase its world-class dancers with the beautifully demanding work Etudes.

Following the world premiere in 2011, Graeme Murphy's Romeo & Juliet will travel to Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Ballet fans in Canberra will also be treated to a free outdoor performance with Telstra's Ballet in the Gardens.

On the touring front the company will embark on its 32nd international tour to New York in June. The Dancers Company will tour extensively throughout regional areas in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with the lively Spanish classic Don Quixote.

Five new Australian commissions, lush costumes, inspirational music, a swag of international guest artists and an impressive back catalogue of repertoire is enough to make any ballet fan dizzy. 2012 is one 50th birthday party you won't want to miss.

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