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You’d be forgiven for thinking we were in Russia, with the plethora of traditional ballets coming our way. This season, classical ballet rules, with a focus on technical flawlessness and sumptuous staging.

Giselle

The St Petersburg Ballet dancers perform the love story of the peasant girl Giselle, through enchanting, ghostly forest scenes. The classical Russian ballet company is an example of traditional ballet in its highest form – technically flawless, with opulent staging and costumes. A must-see for any ballet lover.
His Majesty’s Theatre, June 5-6.

Embraceable You

George Balanchine is feted as the ‘father of American ballet’, but chances to see his works performed are few and far between. Why? Not just everyone can perform his work – production companies have to be vetted by the Balanchine Trust to ensure they have the skills to do his work justice. Luckily, the WA Ballet made the cut. “There are strict conditions around licensing the ballets – we had to send footage of recent productions to prove that the quality of the company was at a level that would allow us to perform the pieces,” explains WA Ballet’s Rosita Stangl. “This permission is rarely granted, so many audience members will be treated to Balanchine for the first time.” For ballet lovers, this rare opportunity should not be missed. “Balanchine, and particularly in his work with New York City Ballet, revolutionised the look of classical ballet.”
His Majesty’s Theatre, May 15-30.
Pick from Margaret Mercer, former WA Ballet dancer, and teacher and dance critic

Be Your Self

The more we look, the more we realise how fragile the concept of ‘self’ really is. A new dance piece by choreographer Garry Stewart explores how we define our identities through the prism of the human body. As with all of his work, it’s provocative, unpredictable and more than a little strange. A stunning stage by New York architects Diller, Scofido + Renfro (they won the McArthur Foundation ‘Genius Award’) is the backdrop to the show, with a pumping electronic score.
State Theatre Centre, June 24-27.
Pick from John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts

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