The Australian Ballet – The Dream

The Adelaide Festival Centre was charmed last night by an immaculate performance by the Australian Ballet.

Three exquisite performances captured the audience and held them until the last step. The first, Monotones II, involves a trio dancing to the heavenly piano of Erik Satie. Frederick Ashton should be commended for his beautiful choreography, the trio were perfectly timed and enchanting to behold. The dancers showed flawless technique and poise, while the score built to a crescendo.

The second, Symphonic Variations was a series of quartets, duets, sextets and solos with the six performers never leaving the stage. With perfect performance and poise the dancers caused the length of stage to seem endless. Symphonic Variations had beautiful choreography and dancers who were well paired in technique and strength of performance.

The final performance was a reimagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The inspiring tale was reinterpreted for dance in a fantastical setting.

The sets for the first two performances were simple, allowing focus to be directed at the performance. The Dream’s set was stunning, capturing the most beautiful elements of the performance. Complimenting the light, fanciful nature of the performance, the sets exemplified a seamless presentation. Furthered by the charming costumes, the mood was set as soon as the curtain was raised.

Madeleine Eastoe as Titania had a wonderful blend of strength and elegancy, performing her characterisations effortlessly. Kevin Jackson as Oberon was simply amazing, his display of character, technique and timing were second to none.

The corps de ballet and soloists were well rehearsed, performing their supporting roles fantastically. Of particular delight was Chengwu Guo as Puck. His graceful movements and effortless display of a flippant, joyful character were outstanding.

Nicolette Fraillon was flawless as the chief conductor and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, true to their form put on an excellent show.  Aurally, the performance was a delight, matching perfectly the emotion and depth of Shakespeare through sound alone.

Converting the language dense tomes of the world’s most famous bard to the exquisite medium of dance is no mean feat, however the Australian Ballet have shown they are more than up to the challenge.


Leave a Reply