Queensland Ballet unveils its 2014 season

The wow factor in the Queensland Ballet’s 2014 season, announced today, is Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet, featuring guest artists Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta and the Australian, Steven McRae.

Rojo is the artistic director of the English National Ballet, Acosta a guest principal with the Royal Ballet and McRae, a principal at the Royal Ballet.

Although Rojo-Acosta are known as an R&J pairing, they will not be dancing together in the QB season.

Rojo and Acosta, as well as McRae, will partner principals from the Queensland Ballet, with Rojo as Juliet for the first performance, on 27 June, and again on 28 June. McRae will dance as Romeo on 2 and 4 July, and Acosta on 3 and 5 July.

The Australian Ballet principal, Daniel Gaudiello, will guest as Mercutio and the former Australian Ballet principal, Steven Heathcote, will guest as Lord Capulet.

Queensland Ballet will be the first company in Australia to perform MacMillan’s R&J, and so, with the bonus of all these guests, it’s set to be a special season.

Sets and costumes will be on loan from the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

QB’s 2014 main stage season will open in April with a new production of Coppelia by the company’s ballet master, Greg Horsman, who danced the role of Franz in the Australian Ballet’s production.

In the 1990s, two Franz’s stand out in my mind. Horsman is one and the other Johan Kobborg who I saw dance the role with the Royal Ballet in London.

Queensland Ballet’s mixed program, with the umbrella title, Flourish, comprises Balanchine’s Serenade, Nils Christe’s Short Dialogues, (first performed by QB in 2011), Ben Stevenson’s La Esmeralda Grand Pas de Deux and Nicole Fonte’s Bolero. The Flourish season will be in early August

The 2014 season will end in December with Stevenson’s Nutcracker. QB’s artistic director, Li Cunxin, plans to make this ballet a Christmas tradition for the company. It will be performed for the first time this coming December.

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Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta, Romeo & Juliet, Royal Ballet, photo © Dee Conway

Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta, Romeo & Juliet, Royal Ballet, photo © Dee Conway

Tamara Rojo as Juliet, in MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet, Royal Ballet, photo © Dee Conway

Tamara Rojo as Juliet, in MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet, Royal Ballet, photo © Dee Conway

Steven McRae, photo © Andrej Uspenski

Steven McRae, photo © Andrej Uspenski

Clare Morehen, Greg Horsman's Coppelia, Queensland Ballet, photo  © Harold David

Clare Morehen, Greg Horsman’s Coppelia, Queensland Ballet, photo © Harold David

Principals and soloists of the Queensland Ballet,  photo © Harold David

Principals and soloists of the Queensland Ballet, photo © Harold David