Bolshoi Ballet to return to Australia in 2013

The Bolshoi Ballet will tour to Australia next year for a season at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, bringing two productions by its former artistic director, Alexei Ratmansky.

The season, announced today by QPAC, will open with Ratmansky’s production of Le Corsaire, followed by his reconstruction of the Soviet era ballet, The Bright Stream.

The Australian tour will precede the company’s London season, in July and August, in which the repertoire is expected to include the production of The Sleeping Beauty that marked the opening of the renovated Bolshoi Theatre in late 2011.

The Bolshoi is the latest company to tour under the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s international ballet series initiated by Leo Schofield and Ian McRae. The series began with the Paris Opera Ballet’s La Bayadere, followed by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba’s Don Quixote and Hamburg Ballet’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Nijinsky.

The Bolshoi season will begin on 30 May 2013, with the first of eight performances of Le Corsaire followed by four performances of The Bright Stream from June 7.

The company’s touring group will number about 125 dancers and 25 support staff. Supers will be recruited locally.

Tickets will go on sale from 9am on 12 November.

The last tour of the Bolshoi Ballet to Australia was in 1994, when Australian companies associated with the Queensland entrepreneur, Graham Hutchison, presented the company in arena venues in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and at the State Theatre in Melbourne with two ballets, Spartacus and La Bayadere.

However the Australian presenters most closely associated with the Bolshoi and other Russian ballet companies have been Michael Edgley and Andrew Guild who toured the Bolshoi in Australia in 1988.

The first Bolshoi troupe came to Australia in 1959 when the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust presented a concert season of the “Bolshoi Ballet Ensemble”.

The next troupe, “Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet” in 1962, was presented by Michael Edgley in association with J C Williamson and the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust.

Subsequent Bolshoi tours to Australia included two in the 1970s and four in the 1980s.