Stanton Welch's La Bayadère Makes Australian Debut Tonight
One of Bollywood's brightest stars, Australian born Pallavi Sharda will add a touch of Bollywood glamour to the opening night of Stanton Welch's La Bayadère when she joins Melbourne's glitterati for its Australian première this August.
Fresh from working with some of India's biggest superstars, Sharda will make a special trip home for the première of the ballet blockbuster which is bursting with passion and Bollywood drama.
Set in a romanticised vision of India, this spectacular re-imagining of a 19th century classic makes its Australian première at Arts Centre Melbourne tonight, 28 August for 12 performances only, before opening at Sydney Opera House on 6 November.
Joining the company onstage for La Bayadère will be some of the biggest international names in dance today. Two of Stuttgart Ballet's most popular dancers,Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo, will guest star with The Australian Ballet during the Melbourne season. In a thrilling first, American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina, Gillian Murphy, will make her debut with The Australian Ballet during the Sydney season of La Bayadère.
The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister, said it was an unmissable opportunity to see three of ballet's greats.
"This is a rare opportunity to see one of American Ballet Theatre's biggest stars on Australian soil plus two of the most dynamic and popular dancers we have ever hosted," said McAllister.
"Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo blew audiences away when they performed with the company at our 50th Anniversary Gala and along with Gillian Murphy - one of the most acclaimed ballerinas in the world today - they are set to do the same in the exotic spectacular that is La Bayadère," he said.
Bollywood fans will have the chance to meet Pallavi Sharda when she joins Artistic Director David McAllister on Saturday 30 August for McAllister in Conversation.
Created in 2010 for the 40th anniversary of the Houston Ballet, Stanton Welch's La Bayadère follows the epic tale of temple dancer Nikiya who falls in love with the warrior Solor. A kaleidoscope of beauty, colour and spell-binding movement, La Bayaderetraces their fight for love, and the vengeance that keeps them apart.
Spiced with opulent sets and costumes by acclaimed English designer Peter Farmer, La Bayadère evokes a dramatic vision of the exotic East.
The third act features one of the most infamous and beautiful scenes in ballet today - the Kingdom of the Shades. Showcasing 24 female dancers in white tutus, executing 38 synchronised and seamless arabesques while descending onto the stage, it demands absolute precision and control from the corps de ballet.
La Bayadère was originally conceived by Marius Petipa and premiered on February 4, 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg. Resident Choreographer of The Australian Ballet and Artistic Director of Houston Ballet, Welch brings a masterful dimension to the classic, crafting the story with unrivalled dance technique and Bollywood sass.
Melbourne (12 performances)
28 August - 6 September
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
with Orchestra Victoria
Sydney (19 performances)
6 - 22 November
Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
McAllister in Conversation
Saturday 30 August, 5pm to 6pm
Arts Centre Melbourne
Join The Australian Ballet's Artistic Director David McAllister as he interviews Australian-born Bollywood star Pallavi Sharda.
La Bayadère (2010)
Choreography Stanton Welch
Music Ludwig Minkus
Arranged by John Lanchbery
Costume and set designs Peter Farmer
Lighting design Francis Croese
australianballet.com.au or 1300 369 741
Stanton Welch is well known to Australian audiences for his previous full-length works for The Australian Ballet, such as Madame Butterfly (1995), Cinderella(1997) and The Sleeping Beauty (2005). Now the artistic director of Houston Ballet and resident choreographer at The Australian Ballet, Welch spent his younger years in Melbourne as a dancer before making his full-length choreographic debut aged 25. He is one of the most sought after choreographers of his generation, having created works for such companies as San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet.
Gillian Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in August 1996, was promoted to soloist in 1999 and principal dancer in 2002. She has appeared as a guest artist around the world, including Japan, Mexico, Chile, Greece, Germany, Italy, Canada and throughout the United States. She made her debut with the Mariinsky Ballet in March 2008, dancing Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. In 2012, Murphy became principal guest artist at the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Elisa Badenes was born in Valencia, Spain. At the Prix de Lausanne in 2008 she won a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School where she graduated one year later. In 2011 she participated at the competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto, Canada and won the Audience Choice with her partner Daniel Camargo. In the 2009/2010 season Elisa Badenes joined the Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice, quickly progressing through the ranks to become Principal Dancer in 2013/2014.
Daniel Camargo was born in Sorocaba, Brasil. In 2005 Tadeusz Matacz, Director of the John Cranko Schule, discovered Daniel Camargo at the Youth America Grand Prix and invited him to continue his education in Stuttgart. In the 2009/10 season Daniel Camargo was taken into the Stuttgart Ballet's corps de ballet. He became Soloist at the beginning of the 2012/13 season after his acclaimed debut in the role of Basilio in Maximiliano Guerra's Don Quijote and was promoted to Principal Dancer one season later.