West Australian Ballet’s Helpmann Award-nominated principal dancer, Jayne Smeulders, will choreograph the company’s production of Cinderella this season. By all accounts, the production will be mesmerising, with Smeulders receiving widespread acclaim for her choreography. His Majesty’s Theatre, November 20-December 13.
Lauded dance academic and performer Shona Erskine takes an unsurprisingly interrogative lens to this piece, a new work about the reality of living with disease – but don’t think that means it’s a dry, medical piece. On the contrary, Shona says it’s an abstract, artistic interpretation that seeks to engage people with the psychological and social aspects of multiple sclerosis, as well as its biology (which, incidentally, will be illustrated onstage with gigantic white-blood-cell props). “I want people to take away a great appreciation of the complexity of living with disease, and the conversations that need to happen,” Shona says. She adds that she’s looking to extend the piece beyond its Blue Room run, and engage people with MS with the production. That’s good news, because this compelling, emotive piece will stay with you long after it finishes – necessitating that second attendance. Blue Room Theatre, November 10-28.
The launch of highly anticipated new contemporary dance company Co3 has been a long time coming, but devotees are about to be rewarded for their patience with this world-premiere season. Former WA Ballet principal dancer Margrete Helgeby is among the arts industry heavyweights driving the company (her husband Michael Chaney is a founding supporter), while PIAF’s Wendy Wise chairs Co3’s board. The company considers itself the state’s flagship for contemporary dance, and will provide a welcome addition of high-quality adult contemporary pieces to WA’s performance schedule. Forming from the amalgamation of Buzz Dance Theatre and Steps Youth Dance Company, Co3 will continue to support and nurture the work of young dancers, as well as showcasing the innovative adult work we first saw at the WA Day celebrations earlier this year. Fremantle Town Hall, October 28.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
It won’t just be that impossibly difficult Rose Adagio sequence that burns this production into your mind – the spectacular costumes, sumptuous staging and mammoth cast guarantee that the Australian Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty will be one for the ages. “I think it will be a true spectacle,” confirms the company’s Perth-born artistic director, David McAllister. “The sets and costumes are amazingly opulent and beautiful, and the whole company is involved, so there’s a huge number of people on stage.” He says it’s a great vehicle for both seasoned ballet fans and first-timers alike – the complex choreography and comparatively short run time means people will be captivated from start to finish. Don’t miss it. Crown Theatre, October 7-10.
Technical ballet masterpiece Paquita will test the skills of WAAPA’s second- and
third-year dance students, but under the guidance of award-winning dance teacher and choreographer Sue Peacock, they’re in the best position possible to impress in this end-of-year performance. Also featuring a diverse range of dance styles choreographed by Peacock and internationally renowned choreographer Sue Healey, the performance will showcase precisely the depth of skills developed by WAAPA’s dancers over their studies. Geoff Gibbs Theatre, November 14 and 16-21.