The Australian Ballet's Contemporary Triple Bill Will Showcase New Work From Alice Topp And Two Hits By Wayne McGregor
The Australian Ballet's 2020 contemporary triple bill Volt features two highly acclaimed, lightning-fast works by a giant of the contemporary ballet world, Wayne McGregor, and one brand-new work by the company's resident choreographer, the Helpmann Award-winning Alice Topp. Volt will set pulses racing at Arts Centre Melbourne from 13 to 24 March, and at the Sydney Opera House from 3 to 22 April.
Alice Topp returns with the world premiere of Logos, an exploration of the storms we weather - our fears, fights, darkness and demons - how we wear them and how they impact others. Logos will interrogate the notions of a dormant beast within, how humans live and work with their monsters and what the landscape looks like after the storm. Performed to a soundtrack by the Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi, a Topp favourite, with lighting design by her long-term collaborator Jon Buswell, Logos is a work about armouring ourselves against predators, pressures and climate. The piece had its origin in a duet made as a development work on the dancers of Company Wayne McGregor in London.
"I can't wait to bring Logos to life and am so humbled to have it sit in a program alongside works by my hero Wayne McGregor. I feel so lucky to have had the extraordinary experience of spending time with Wayne and his beautiful company in June where the seeds of the new work were planted. I'm looking forward to realising this work, sharing these ideas and musings with home audiences and seeing Volt thrill, challenge and move," says Alice.
The British-born McGregor's ballets have redefined the boundaries of contemporary dance, defying audience expectations around the world. His works Dyad 1929 and Chroma feature in The Australian Ballet's repertoire, and Alice counts her performances in these ballets as a highlight of her career as a dancer.
Last performed by The Australian Ballet in 2014, McGregor's multi-award-winning 2006 work Chroma is often hailed as one of the greatest to emerge from the 21st century and has been performed by the world's premier ballet companies. It is a riveting exploration of the ways human bodies communicate extremes of thought and emotion. Inspired by Minimum, a visual essay by architect John Pawson (who was invited to create Chroma's stark box of a set), McGregor works with the idea of creating pure shape through a process of subtraction. The dancers move with rapid, immaculate precision, dressed in a muted palette by costume designer Moritz Junge. An original score by Joby Talbot combines the composer's own inventions with arrangements of music by American rock band The White Stripes. Stylish lighting design by Lucy Carter transforms Pawson's minimalist set.
McGregor's Dyad 1929 was created for The Australian Ballet in 2009 and was last seen in 2013. It celebrates the centenary of the Ballets Russes and the pioneering creative vision of impresario Sergei Diaghilev. The work is one part of a 'Dyad diptych', the other part of which is Dyad 1909, created in London on McGregor's own company, then called Random Dance. The dates 1909 and 1929 bookend the explosion of creativity that was Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, tracing an arc from its first season in Paris to its disbanding after Diaghilev's death in 1929.
The abstract Dyad 1929 captures the compulsive forward motion of these decades through its rocketing choreography, which is in turn driven onward by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Steve Reich composition Double Sextet. A bold monochromatic set design by McGregor and Lucy Carter, who also designed the fierce lighting, is complemented by Moritz Junge's minimal-chic costumes.
DATES: MELBOURNE, 13 - 24 March, Arts Centre Melbourne
SYDNEY, 3 - 22 April, Sydney Opera House
Choreography and costume design Alice Topp
Music Ludovico Einaudi
Staging and lighting design Jon Buswell
Logos is a co-commission by Studio Wayne McGregor, The Australian Ballet and Dance@The Grange. It is generously supported by the Robert Southey Fund for Australian Choreography.