WA Ballet get ready for the popular Ballet at the Quarry

West Australian Ballet have set their Quarry program in stone after an unforeseen change to headline work In-Synch, as well as the addition of a light-hearted fourth piece, that is set to enhance the evenings experience.

An idea developed in 2016 by Artistic Director Aurélien Scannella and Principal Ballet Mistress and Artistic Associate Sandy Delasalle, In-Synch is a conceptual work which will outline the skill and creativity of West Australian Ballet dancers as they improvise at each performance to randomly selected music.

While the dancers have creative control on-stage, well-known dance improviser (and former Sydney Dance Company dancer and West Australian Ballet Soloist) David Mack has been engaged as Improvisation Provocateur to create frames of movement as well as strategise with the dancers about how to evoke improvised movement.

When the show was announced last year the music was going to be provided by French loop artist MB14 who was going to improvise loops for the dancers to perform to, sadly he is now unable to participate due to unforeseen circumstances, so instead there will be four modern orchestral playlists each created to provoke the dancer’s senses and technique throughout the work.

Each performance will have a playlist chosen randomly just moments prior to the performance, leaving both the dancer and audience member curious to what will be presented encompassing West Australian Ballet’s 2019 theme of ‘live and alive’.

Artistic Director Aurélien Scannella said the company’s 2019 season was all about celebrating live performance.

“This year we’re celebrating the art of live dance, which is different every night that it’s performed,” Scannella said. “In-Synch: Ballet at the Quarry is not only a beautiful evening experience with your picnic under the stars, it’s world class dance created for WA”.

While Ballet at the Quarry has predominantly been a program of contemporary dance, West Australian Ballet will present both classical and contemporary dance forms in Reincarnation choreographed by award-winning Choreographer and Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre, Garry Stewart and in collaboration with one of Australia’s newest contemporary dance companies, Co3 Australia who will join West Australian Ballet dancers on-stage during this piece.

Stewart, well known for his commissions such as the ‘deconstruction’ of Swan Lake, Birdbrain, and Housedance which saw dancers abseil down the main sail of the Sydney Opera House, has created a half hour work which is an exploration into the notion of death and transformative factors in classical ballets such as Giselle and Swan Lake.

Together with the encapsulating costumes designed by Johnathan Hindmarsh and bespoke original composition from Brendan Woithe, Reincarnation will celebrate the history of both classical and contemporary dance in their own rights.

Set to also feature at the Quarry Amphitheatre is talented up and coming international choreographer Johanna Nuutinen, with the Australian Premiere of her stirring work, X-It. This strong and physical work is built on the study of emotions and the paranoia that can be created from constant surveillance, surveillance that is inescapable and affects interpersonal relationships.

Dancers will seamlessly move between two worlds, on that is live on-stage and one that is digital, (and features areas within the iconic Fremantle Prison). Previously performed with the Finnish National Ballet, this work will entrance the audience as they witness this world class contemporary piece.

As a further offering added to the loyal Ballet at the Quarry audience, which has historically sold out throughout West Australian Ballet’s 26 year residency at the venue, is the humorous work debuted at Radio and Juliet: Ballet at the Quarry (2014) is The Sofa by Itzik Galili. This playful, and sometimes naughty, work will contrast the highly anticipated longer works as three dancers investigate the feelings of a love triangle with a twist. Fittingly labelled “simply hilarious” by The Australian, and “A brilliant and astonishingly physical and mind-bogglingly gymnastic ‘ménage à trois’” by Dance Australia upon its Australian Premiere five years ago, the work is performed to the crackled Nobody by Tom Waits.

In-Synch: Ballet at the Quarry runs from 8 February to 2 March as a part of Perth Festival.

Source: Media Release, image: Liz Looker