Ballet as pristine tradition and contemporary force



A double bill of the elegant 19th-century classic Raymonda with the vigour and attack of Artifact Suite by William Forsythe, who stretches classical forms into original modernity.

Artifact Suite
The American choreographer William Forsythe revolutionised the European dance scene, reimagining classical technique and challenging his dancers with extended shapes. Devotees of his In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, shown most recently as part of our Vitesse program, will relish experiencing the ensemble work that defined his groundbreaking style: clarified speed, extensions of form and dynamically fast weight changes. Bach's sublime Chaconne for solo violin is contrasted to the repetitive urgency of piano pieces by composer Eva Crossman-Hecht.

Raymonda (Act III)
The third act of Marius Petipa’s Raymonda depicts the wedding of the hero and heroine. As in his Sleeping Beauty and Paquita, Petipa uses the celebration to create a sparkling display of classical technique, with Hungarian-inflected dances culminating in one of ballet’s most famous solos for a leading ballerina. This staging, based on the traditional Petipa choreography, will be David Hallberg’s first for The Australian Ballet.

David’s insight:
“The juxtaposition of Raymonda and Artifact Suite shows the evolution of classical ballet. Raymonda adheres to tradition and pageantry; Forsythe took this history and ‘imitated’ it, creating a work that overwhelms both dancers and audience with gestural references given new meaning. These seminal works both counteract and perfectly complement each other.”

William Forsythe’s choreographic masterpiece fiercely resonates today

Fjord Review

The radical innovations of Artifact Suite afford a bracing contrast with the elegance of Raymonda

Artists of Houston Ballet in Artifact Suite (Footage courtesy of Houston Ballet) / Amy Harris of The Australian Ballet in Raymonda


Artifact Suite
Choreography, stage, light and costume design William Forsythe
Part I
J.S. Bach Chaconne from Partita Nr.2 BWV 1004 in D-Minor
performed by Nathan Milstein
Part II Eva Crossman-Hecht

Choreography after Marius Petipa
Staged by David Hallberg
Music Aleksandr Glazunov

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