Australian Ballet returns to New York

As part of its 50th anniversary year celebrations, the Australian Ballet will return to New York in June 2012..

At the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center it will present its international touring calling card, Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, (a ballet that’s already toured through Asia, and to Paris, London and Wales), along with a triple bill – Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929, plus a new work choreographed by Stephen Page in collaboration with Bangarra Dance Theatre, and a third piece not yet announced.

The company’s last tour to New York was in 1999, when the company presented Stephen Page’s Rites, a collaboration between the Australian Ballet and Bangarra. I was in New York at the time and remember how Rites gave a true sense of occasion to the visit. It also received the most publicity.

That tour helped boost the international profile of the AB’s then artistic director, Ross Stretton, with The New York Times critic, Anna Kisselgoff, writing: “Virtually a company reborn, the Australian Ballet under Ross Stretton’s leadership has come back to New York with terrific dancing, creativity and a new ensemble spirit.”

This remark helped propel Stretton to the artistic directorship of the Royal Ballet, a short lived post with a sad outcome.

Next year’s tour will be the AB’s eighth to the United States.

The company will unveil many of its 50th anniversary celebrations on August 30 at a media event in Melbourne.

Among the proposed plans is a large format book of historic and present day AB photographs along with text summaries of each decade of its life.

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