Queensland Ballet Season 2024
Image: Queensland Ballet on Tour 2024. Rhapsody in Motion - Laura Tosar and Patricio Reve. Photographer: David Kelly.
Queensland Ballet has unveiled its 2024 Season, full of colourful characters and stories from literature, history, and imagination. In a fusion of new and loved works told through traditional classical and contemporary repertoire, Queensland Ballet will explore dreamscapes, realism, and fairytales – some with an unexpected twist.
It will be the last season curated by outgoing Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO as he considers the next chapter in his own journey.
“It is bittersweet to introduce such an incredible 2024 Season filled with colour, vibrancy, and bold athleticism, featuring compelling stories brought to life by dance,” he said.
“Vibrant, textured characters are the focus of my last curated season. The company will explore an arrestingly beautiful Coppélia in sun-drenched regional Australia; fashion icon Coco Chanel in Jazz Age Paris; whimsical fairy kings and queens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and so much more in this Season of stories for everyone”.
Image: Queensland Ballet 2024. Coco Chanel - Yanela Piñera. Photographer: David Kelly
Queensland Ballet’s blockbuster ballet of the year is the rags-to-riches tale of Coco Chanel: the Life of a Fashion Icon, transporting audiences back to Jazz Age Paris. Darkly ambitious, this famed French designer redefined the world of fashion for modern women – but at what cost? Internationally acclaimed Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa delves into Chanel’s complex life in this full-length narrative ballet. This new work is co-production with Hong Kong Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, and premiered in Hong Kong in early 2023.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings Shakespeare to the Brisbane stage in April with this rendition by Liam Scarlett. Brimming with mischief and mayhem, it interweaves the realm of fairies and woodland characters with the mortal world of unrequited lovers.
This enchanting comedy sets by Tracy Grant Lord and lighting by Kendall Smith, with the score by Felix Mendelssohn performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra.
Image: Queensland Ballet 2024. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Joel Woellner and Mia Heathcote. Photographer: David Kelly
In June, the company presents a light-hearted Coppélia. Greg Horsman’s adaptation is set in the sun-drenched South Australian town of Hahndorf in the late 19th century, giving this story a distinctly Australian flair. The production will tour to the Gold Coast, with three shows at Home Of The Arts (HOTA), November 1 and 2.
Also in June comes My First Ballet for young audiences with the fairytale, Cinderella. Adapted from Queensland Ballet’s full-length version by Ben Stevenson OBE, this tale of determination and love – with a sprinkling of fairy magic, is the perfect fit for families.
Image: Queensland Ballet 2024. Cinderella - Libby-Rose Niederer. Photographer: David Kelly
Bespoke returns for a seventh season of new works in July that explore how far dance can go, with Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri choreographer Katina Olsen, Ukrainian-Dutch choreographer Milena Sidorova, and Australian choreographer Jack Lister collaborating with artists, musicians, and the dancers themselves.
Queensland Ballet Academy Gala in August is an annual showcase of the rising young stars of dance - a program of classical ballet and neo-classical and contemporary works, along with a selection of student choreographic showcases.
December bringsThe Nutcracker, whisking families away to a sparkling winter wonderland one Christmas Eve to join the midnight adventures of Clara, the Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, plus all the enchanting inhabitants of their glittering kingdom. A holiday tradition now in its twelfth season.
Image: Queensland Ballet. The Nutcracker 2024 - Ines Hargreaves. Photographer: David Kelly
Queensland Ballet on Tour includes a Brisbane season Queensland Ballet at Home, featuring Three Preludes, choreographed by Ben Stephenson OBE, Tchaikovsky Mash Choreographed by Matthew Lawrence, Le Corsaire Pas De Deux by Marius Petipa and A Rhapsody in Motion.
This year the company will travel to Bundaberg, Cairns, Caloundra, Charters Towers, Goondiwindi, Maryborough and Toowoomba.
Queensland Ballet presents Derek Deane’s The Lady of the Camellias performed by Shanghai Ballet, in a season exclusive to Brisbane. Following one of the most beautiful and brazen courtesans in 19th century Paris, this tragic story of love and sacrifice has inspired countless productions, including the musical and film, Moulin Rouge. This production sold out in 2020 but was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image: Queensland Ballet 2024. Bespoke - Edison Manuel, Laura Tosar and Patricio Reve. Photographer: David Kelly
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Queensland Ballet continues to expand its reputation as an internationally renowned dance company, producing innovative and high-quality works and continuing to develop Queensland talent.
“A significant contribution to this success is the unwavering commitment and vision of Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO.
“Li’s last curated program with the company is a wonderful gift for audiences with Queensland Ballet’s 2024 program bringing the world’s greatest ballets to our door, sharing stories of fantasy, fashion, romance, and new First Nations contemporary work.
“The Queensland Government invests in the Queensland Ballet’s growth and development, supporting its operations and programming, including the company’s home at the refurbished Thomas Dixon Centre, engaging regional communities through touring activities, and nurturing the next generation of dancers at the Queensland Ballet Academy.
“This investment enables Queensland Ballet to create employment opportunities for dancers and arts workers, supports Queenslanders’ access to the incredible work of the company and helps deliver the priorities of the Creative Together 2020 – 2030 roadmap for arts, culture and creativity.
“Congratulations Li and Mary for sharing your inspiration, vision and passion for dance and for your artistic legacy showcased during Queensland Ballet’s 2024 season.”
In concluding the Season launch ceremony, Mr Li thanked those he’d worked with.
“The past 11 Seasons at the helm of Queensland Ballet have represented one of the most rewarding chapters of my life. I’m incredibly grateful to have been surrounded by a contagious energy, an unbreakable creative spirit of dancers, creatives, and arts workers; our audiences, our donors and patrons, and all in our Queensland Ballet community.
“My heartfelt gratitude goes to our supporters who enable all that we do: the Australian and Queensland Governments, our family of Partners, and our treasured donors and visionaries who love and support our artform, empowering our every move. My gratitude to you – our audience, for your belief in us. Together we have created unforgettable and impactful experiences and a proud legacy!
“I look forward to witnessing the journey of this aspirational company as it continues to share the beauty of dance with as many people as possible throughout Queensland and beyond.
Season tickets are on sale from 2pm Monday 23 October, with public sales from 24 October from 9am.