Australian Dance Reviews

Queensland Ballet’s ‘Trilogy’: A triumphant trio

Queensland Ballet in Christopher Bruce's 'Rooster'. Photo by David Kelly.
Queensland Ballet in Christopher Bruce's 'Rooster'. Photo by David Kelly.

Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane.
16 June 2023.

Queensland Ballet’s latest production, Trilogy, is a triple bill showcasing three stand-alone works, all with a distinct performance flair.

The first piece, A Brief Nostalgia, explores the emotion of fleeting memories and grasping for moments in time. The theme is expressed through feeling rather than narrative, the ambiguity of the piece only complementing its haunting and provoking nature. Jack Lister’s classical and noir infused choreography is accompanied with an ominous and often distressing score by Tom Harrold. Along with a concrete set and dramatic lightening design by Thomas Mika and Alexander Belage, respectively, the balance of the production elements gives the performance an almost brutal and dystopian ambience. Nostalgia is a strong opener for the triple bill, as its stark atmosphere and set gives the audience the opportunity to appreciate the incredible talent and skill of the cast, before getting absorbed by the bright and lively production of the following two works.

The second act, Rooster, swings into an upbeat homage to the rock ‘n’ roll era of the 1960s and ’70s. Set entirely to the iconic music of The Rolling Stones, this piece showcases the vibrance and playfulness of the era. Christopher Bruce’s energetic choreography imitates the brash mannerisms of the rooster in a satirical commentary on the cockiness of young men, and the ensuing cavalier attitude of women. A dynamic mix of jazz, swing and classical techniques, along with a stylistic nod to Mick Jagger’s signature swagger, Rooster colourfully bridges the gap between classic and contemporary, delivering something fun and buoyant for all audiences.

Concluding the trio of works is My Brilliant Career. Based on the classic Australian novel by Miles Franklin, it tells the story of headstrong but playful Sybylla, a young woman in the 19th century who is determined to reject the societal norms laid out for her. The most classical ballet of the three, Cathy Marston choreographs a beautiful piece that represents the naïve and stubborn nature of any young woman yearning to find her place. The simplistic set and costume design allows for the characters to shape the narrative, which the cast does sublimely. While only a short work itself, My Brilliant Career still encompasses a rich story for the audience through the captivating journey of its characters and enchanting music.

Trilogy is a fantastic show for all ages and audiences. Whether you are a first-time guest to the theatre, or a seasoned ballet lover, Queensland Ballet’s Trilogy provides entertainment and amazing talent for everyone to enjoy.

By Olivia Schoenauer.

Through Queensland Ballet’s partnership with Griffith University, the company identified the opportunity to connect with the university’s journalism students on a reviewer program that not only gives the student real-world experience, but also enables Queensland Ballet to see its productions from the lens of an emerging audience. All Griffith University journalism students were eligible to apply for consideration for this program by submitting a mock review in a competition. Olivia Schoenauer was unanimously selected as the winner. This program is testament to the strength of Queensland Ballet’s partnership with Griffith University and demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to collaboration.

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