Ballet meets The White Stripes. Pointes meet polka dots. Britain’s leading light meets Australia’s rising star in an electrifying program of innovative dance.

For more than a decade, Wayne McGregor has been performing fierce and thrilling experiments on ballet, taking it next-level with punk pecks and twitches, whip-lash spines, warp-speed leaps and hyper-stretched lines. As well as being The Royal Ballet’s resident choreographer, this wide-ranging creative has made movement for Radiohead and the Chemical Brothers, the Harry Potter movies and fashion designer Gareth Pugh. In his one-act works Chroma and Dyad 1929, McGregor strips back ballet and builds it anew.

Chroma, performed in architect John Pawson’s stark white box and driven by composer Joby Talbot’s take on songs by alt-rockers The White Stripes, places the dancers at the centre of a kinetic whirlwind. In Dyad 1929 the dancers, sharply lit and set in a crisp background of black dots on white, seem to race Steve Reich’s full-tilt, Pulitzer-Prize-winning score Double Sextet to the finish line.

Alice Topp, resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet, first worked with McGregor on the creation of Dyad 1929, and later performed in his Chroma and Infra. These experiences, she says, unlocked her confidence and creativity. “I’d spent years as one of 24 swans, trying to blend into a perfect line. Wayne freed me to find and believe in my own artistic voice – the greatest gift I’ve ever received.” Topp, who recently won acclaim for her Helpmann Award-winning work Aurum at home and in New York, will continue her love affair with the music of Ludovico Einaudi and will team with long-time collaborator Jon Buswell to design the lighting and staging for Logos, a work about armouring ourselves against modern demons: “our predators, pressures, climate and, at times, ourselves.”

McGregor. Topp. Modern dance that turns it on.

Chroma scales the scaffolding of contemporary ballet technique and imbues it with rock star sex appeal

The Age

A little taste of the dramatic settings and poses of McGregor and Topp's works.

Artists of The Australian Ballet in Chroma, Dyad 1929 and Aurum. Photography Jess Bialek, Jim McFarlane and Lynette Wills


CHROMA (2006)
Choreography Wayne McGregor
Music Joby Talbot and Jack White III
Costume design Moritz Junge
Set design John Pawson
Lighting design Lucy Carter

LOGOS (2020)
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.

DYAD 1929 (2013)
Choreography Wayne McGregor
Music Steve Reich Double Sextet
Stage concept Wayne McGregor and Lucy Carter
Costume design Moritz Junge
Lighting design Lucy Carter

With Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Orchestra


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Dyad 1929 is the best of the ballets of his I have seen

The New York Times

It is clear Topp has an acute understanding of dancers’ bodies

Fjord Review


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