Queensland Ballet announces dazzling 2014 season. Photo: Michele MossopQueensland Ballet will debut a new work, remount an old favourite and dazzle with an international coup during its 2014 season.
“This season has much bolder ambition,” artistic director Li Cunxin said.
“It’s definitely another huge step of making this company great.”
The man known to literature as Mao’s Last Dancer took over the reins of the QB at the end of 2012, making this his second official season.
The 2014 highlight – the Sir Kenneth MacMillan production of Romeo & Juliet – also marks a full circle moment for Cunxin, who never got the chance to star in that particular version.
“I still remember when I was a young dancer, I watched a live telecast by the American Ballet Theatre,” he said.
“I watched with a beer in hand and take-out food, glued to the TV, and thought – if one day I’m lucky enough to do this, I will have died and gone to heaven.”
A resident at the Houston Ballet Theatre at the time, Cunxin worked with MacMillan on other ballets (“he was incredibly demanding, really challenged you”), and starred in other productions of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, but never this particular version.
“So now I have the chance to get this ballet for our dancers to do.”
He said the Queensland Ballet corps would learn much from guest international superstars Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta and Steven McRae, who were secured with help of the Newman government’s Super Star Fund.
“Normally this ballet is performed by the Royal Ballet or the American Ballet Theatre, which have got enormous resources and a lot of dancers,” he said.
“So for us to have Lady Deborah MacMillan to give us the rights, to entrust this production to us, is just such a privilege for us.”
The first performance of 2014 will be a new ballet of Coppelia, about a lifelike doll and two jealous lovers. Set in the small South Australian town of Hahndorf in the late 1800s, the production will feature the delightful music of Leo Delibes.
A mix of four works called Flourish will demonstrate the range of the Queensland Ballet ensemble, and the company will also tour the successful 2013 production of Cinderella to the regions.
Surprisingly, Cunxin has chosen to finish 2014 with The Nutcracker, a repeat of the 2013 end-of-year production.
“Virtually everywhere in the world, Europe and North America, have the annual tradition of The Nutcracker,” he said.
“It’s so popular, so I’d like to bring that tradition to Queensland.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.