Queensland Ballet kicks off 2021 with 60th Anniversary Gala

Queensland Ballet in rehearsal for 'Études'. Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.
Queensland Ballet in rehearsal for 'Études'. Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.

Audiences can expect an emotional and captivating journey through dance when Queensland Ballet presents its highly anticipated 60thAnniversary Gala at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from March 5 to March 20. From Jacqui Carroll’s powerful and exhilarating Carmina Burana, to François Klaus’s nostalgic Cloudland, the company will rewind the clock to present its most beloved works.

On April 29, 1960, Charles Lisner presented The First Season of the Lisner Ballet at the Academy Theatre in Brisbane. With a company of 11 dancers in tow, Lisner commenced the first step of a journey that would see the small and humble ballet company grow to 60 company dancers, known today as Queensland Ballet. 

Queensland Ballet in rehearsal for its '60th Anniversary Gala'. Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.
Queensland Ballet in rehearsal
for its ’60th Anniversary Gala’.
Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.

In a celebratory season that is equal parts heritage and future, Queensland Ballet will pay tribute to the contributions of the company’s five illustrious artistic directors: Charles Lisner OBE, Harry Haythorne MBE, Harold Collins MBE, François Klaus and Li Cunxin AO. 

Current Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO says audiences can expect a night of incredible works, with excerpts from Lisner’s Chopin Pas de Deux, Harold Collins’ Lady of the Camellias and Harald Lander’s Études, to name a few. 

“This truly is a performance brimming with treasures,” he said. “In 2021, we celebrate our achievements, we reflect our history, and we look toward the future and plot what we want to accomplish in the next 60 years. After a challenging 2020, to be able to celebrate our company with our loyal patrons and fans means more than you could imagine.”

Cunxin added, “We are delighted to confirm Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo from The Australian Ballet will be performing the iconic Don Quixote Pas de Deux at the 60th Anniversary Gala performances on the 9th and 10th of March.”

Queensland Ballet has put the call out to people wishing to share their stories about the company over the past six decades. 

Queensland Ballet's Georgia Swan and Vito Bernasconi in rehearsal for 'Lady of the Camellias'. Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.
Queensland Ballet’s Georgia Swan
and Vito Bernasconi in rehearsal
for ‘Lady of the Camellias’.
Photo by Stephanie Do Rozario.

“We really want to hear your stories, your fondest, most surprising or funniest memories, the things that you’re reminded of when you watch a performance or the thing you love most about being part of the Queensland Ballet family,” Cunxin said. Fans are encouraged to share their memories here

Accompanied by Camerata, Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, the music will transcend from Carl Orff’s bold Carmina Burana, to Jule Massenet’s delicate and emotive Meditation, certain to have audiences captivated as they experience the magic on stage.

Anyone celebrating a 60th anniversary this year or last year, be it a birthday or diamond jubilee, can enter to win an ultimate celebration package with a weekend escape at Mantra South Bank, lunch with Cunxin, plus two tickets to Queensland Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Gala. Enter at www.queenslandballet.com.au/celebrate60.

Queensland Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Gala will run from 5 – 20 March, at the Playhouse Theatre, QPAC. To find out more and book your tickets, head to www.queenslandballet.com.au/2021/60th-anniversary-gala.

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