The Queensland Ballet’s 2022 season


In 2012, Li Cunxin AO, an acclaimed former dancer and author of the best-selling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, was appointed as Queensland Ballet’s artistic director, commencing with season 2013.

A decade later he says  â€śin season 2022, we celebrate Queensland Ballet’s ambitions and bold vision for the future, which is why, at the end of these 10 years it has not been a difficult decision to renew my directorship of this company.

“My life changed the day I walked into Queensland Ballet as its fifth artistic director. This journey has enriched my life and offered so much fulfilment and joy, as well as the inevitable challenges that have taught me so much.

“In this season we celebrate our talented dancers, our students, our teams in production, wardrobe, artistic and business, and our venues and orchestra partners”.

The repertoire begins in February with three performances of Greg Horsman’s adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty at Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts (HOTA and then, at the same venue in November, a mixed bill featuring Christopher Bruce’s Rooster and Jack Lister’s B-Sides.

The 2022 repertoire begins with Giselle in Brisbane “but one of the most exciting elements of this season is that it opens in Toowoomba and tours regionally before landing in Brisbane.  This echoes the journey that Giselle undertook in my first season in 2013, so it’s wonderful to retrace those steps”.

In June, a triple bill, titled Li’s Choice, features three personal picks including We Who Are Left by QB’s resident choreographer Natalie Weir, Glass Concerto by QB’s chief ballet master Greg Horsman and Elite Syncopations, a ragtime ballet by Sir Kenneth MacMillan.

In July, QB will celebrate the opening of the company’s Thomas Dixon Centre’s new theatre with its fifth season of Bespoke with works by three Australian choreographers, Greg Horsman,

Petros Treklis and Stephanie Lake, as well as Peter and the Wolf,  a symphonic fairytale about a young boy’s courageous adventures brought to life through delightful choreography and the score by Sergei Prokofiev.

Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s Manon is likely to be the highlight of the season in September. Mr Li and the QB ballet mistress, Mary Li will dance character roles, with Li as Monsieur G with Mary Li as Madame X’s hotel particulier.

Li wrote “QB is one of the companies in the world with permission to perform Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s version of Manon.

“It’s a real honour to be part of this season on-stage as well as behind the scenes.  Monsieur G is one male leading role I haven’t performed in Manon so once again, this is a dream come true and I’m thrilled that Mary and I will be sharing this special experience with our audiences”.

An important moment for Queensland Ballet was Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet in the Lyric Theatre in Brisbane in 2014.

Guest artists included Tamara Rojo as Juliet, Daniel Gaudiello as Mercutio and Steven Heathcote as Lord Capulet.

In July, QB will celebrate the opening of the company’s Thomas Dixon Centre’s new theatre with its fifth season of Bespoke with works by three Australian choreographers, Greg Horsman, Petros Treklis and Stephanie Lake, as well as Peter and the Wolf a  fairytale about a young boy’s courageous adventures brought to life through delightful choreography and the score by Sergei Prokofiev.

In August, audiences will witness a showcase of  artistry and skill for the Queensland Ballet Academy Gala.

The season ends with QB’s annual festive tradition The Nutcracker”.

The repertoire:

The Sleeping Beauty | 25 – 26 February | Theatre 1, HOTA

Experience a special night under the starry skies as we tour our exquisite box office-breaking fairytale The Sleeping Beauty to Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts (HOTA). Queensland Ballet’s most successful ballet of all time visits HOTA for the first time in 2022, weaving the magic of true love’s kiss throughout this incredible outdoor theatre after a hugely popular 2021 Brisbane season. Intertwined with Marius Petipa’s renowned original 1890s choreography and accompanied by the exquisite Tchaikovsky score, Greg Horsman’s two-act retelling will sweep you away to a land of enchanted forests, kings and queens, and charismatic creatures that creep, crawl, flit and flutter.

 Giselle | 3-16 March 2022 | Regional Tour

Giselle | 14 – 23 April 2022 | Playhouse, QPAC

Experience love, envy, betrayal, and tragic redemption in the quintessential Romantic ballet, Giselle. First performed in Paris, France in 1841, this Romantic-era masterpiece is set in an ethereal realm where vengeful spirits dance in the darkness, and love triangles can be deadly. Follow the story of the young peasant girl Giselle, and her death by a broken heart. In the twilight world of the Wilis, will she follow the dark path of revenge or save her true love from certain death? With exquisite choreography, luminous costumes, and an enchanting score, Giselle has held audiences spellbound since its Parisian première more than 150 years ago.

 Li’s Choice | 10 – 25 June 2022 | Playhouse, QPAC

A triple bill of works by Natalie Weir,  (We Who Are Left) Greg Horsman (Glass Concerto) and Sir Kenneth MacMillan. hand-selected by Li Cunxin. Acclaimed Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, known internationally for her highly physical partner work and organic movement style, showcases her deeply emotive war-themed work  Glass Concerto, by renowned international choreographer Greg Horsman, captures the pulse and escalating intensity of the brilliant music of Philip Glass in this neo-classical masterpiece. And in a fervour of dazzling colour and high energy, ragtime ballet Elite Syncopations by Sir Kenneth MacMillan is, quite simply, entertainment at its best.

Peter and the Wolf | 24 June – 2 July 2022 | Thomas Dixon Centre

Follow the courageous young scout Peter on an adventure to the zoo in this symphonic fairytale ballet designed for families. Children of all ages, along with parents and grandparents, will enjoy a lesson in musical appreciation, as orchestral instruments accompany the dancers in a much-loved story about Peter, a rascally wolf, an unlucky duck, and a graceful bird. Composed as an introduction to the orchestra for children, the lively production fits perfectly with Queensland Ballet’s My First Ballet Series, inspiring the littlest of ballet lovers.

 Bespoke | 20 –30 July 2022 | Thomas Dixon Centre

 Explore the vibrant world of contemporary dance in a thrilling new season of Queensland Ballet’s Bespoke. Now in its fourth year, this striking triple bill of modern dance offers audiences an opportunity to witness elite ballet dancers in dynamic contemporary spaces. In celebration of the opening of our new theatre at the heritage-listed Thomas Dixon Centre, for this year’s Bespoke, renowned Australian choreographers Greg Horsman, Petros Treklis, and Stephanie Lake have collaborated with dancers and artists to create three compelling new pieces of innovative storytelling, using visual art, music, and the depths of human emotion as elements of inspiration.

 Queensland Ballet Academy Gala | 12 – 14 August 2022 | Thomas Dixon Centre

 Manon | 28 Sept – 8 Oct 2022| Lyric Theatre, QPAC

Li Cunxin AO and Mary Li performance dates | 29 September, 4 and 6 October 2022

 Rooster & B-Sides | 10 – 12 November 2022 | Outdoor Stage, HOTA

 Li wrote “travel back to the joyous fun of the ’60s with this celebration of energetic choreography and hit pop and rock music in Christopher Bruce’s Rooster and Jack Lister’s B-Sides.

“Full of humour, infectious energy and toe-tapping tunes – including music by the Rolling Stones Christopher Bruce’s Rooster is an ironic look at male chauvinism, with strutting dancers in vibrant period-era costumes that will have audiences bopping in their seats. The swinging ’60s theme continues in B-Sides by Jack Lister with its fusion of colourful kitsch and seamless contemporary choreography. An exploration of relationships and identity to a recording of hit 60s pop songs, this piece will captivate audiences with its engaging effervescence.

The Nutcracker | 2 – 23 December 2022 | Playhouse, QPAC

For more information watch Queensland Ballet’s World Ballet Day


 All photos courtesy Queensland Ballet



QB 2022 Gala

Li’s Choice




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