Aus­tralian Bal­let awak­ens beauty

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Tanya MacNaughton


THE Aus­tralian Bal­let artis­tic di­rec­tor David McAl­lis­ter’s jour­ney on The Sleep­ing Beauty, his first full-length pro­duc­tion as chore­og­ra­pher, will come full cir­cle when the bal­let opens at Crown Theatre Perth in Oc­to­ber.

It was while grow­ing up in Perth where McAl­lis­ter saw a per­for­mance of Ru­dolph Nureyev’s The Sleep­ing Beauty that he first as­pired to be a dancer.

“It was so op­u­lent, lav­ish and mag­i­cal and re­ally made a mark on my ca­reer,” he said.

“I’m hop­ing bring­ing this pro­duc­tion to Perth will have the same ef­fect on other lit­tle boys and girls.”

McAl­lis­ter started danc­ing at age seven, be­gan at The Aus­tralian Bal­let School in Mel­bourne when he was 17 and danced for 18 years with The Aus­tralian Bal­let be­fore re­tir­ing in 2001 to be­come artis­tic di­rec­tor.

“I al­ways thought my job as artis­tic di­rec­tor was to com­mis­sion other peo­ple to do big works, but for this one I had a re­ally strong pic­ture of what I wanted the pro­duc­tion to be,” he said.

“I thought maybe it was time to step up to the plate. It’s a bal­let that I’ve danced in a lot and the last pro­duc­tion had come to the end of its life; ne­ces­sity is the mother of in­ven­tion.”

The re­sult is a beau­ti­ful, clas­si­cal bal­let made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with mu­sic di­rec­tor Ni­co­lette Frail­lon, set and cos­tume de­signer Gabriela Tylesova and light­ing de­signer Jon Buswell.

“The chal­lenge is to find your artis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tors and I was re­ally lucky,” McAl­lis­ter said.

“The cre­ative team came to­gether quite mag­i­cally and we were all very much in the same mind­set as to what the pro­duc­tion should be.”

The Sleep­ing Beauty will open in Perth, with WASO, on Oc­to­ber 7.

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