The red and gold curtain dropped, but the lights in the State Theatre remained low. Another encore, perhaps? It was, after all, the opening night of the Australian Ballet’s new show Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so another all-cast bow would have been more than welcome. Then the curtain rose again. The cast was still there, but suddenly they were armed with posters, metallic heart-shaped red balloons and gold and silver blow-up letters, all with one message: YES.

That’s when the standing ovation began.

In the meantime, Orchestra Victoria had begun to play the Wedding Waltz.

“The Australian Ballet has a long and proud history of embracing equality and diversity,” artistic director David McAllister said in a statement after the performance. “We support equal rights for all Australians. And so we say, “YES” to marriage equality because we believe that love is love.”

It was a simple but extremely moving gesture, and follows statements of public support for the Yes campaign by other Australian institutions in recent weeks.

Ballots for the postal survey on same-sex marriage will begin arriving in the post this week – they must be returned by November 7.

Broadsheet is a proud media partner of the The Australian Ballet. Read our guide of venues to visit pre and post dance here.