Harlequinade at The Australian Ballet
More than a century since it made its world premiere in Russia in 1900, Marius Petipa’s lively ballet Harlequinade will finally grace the Australian stage. A co-production of the American Ballet Theatre and The Australian Ballet, this loving and humorous revival of the much-loved production – helmed by Russian-American choreographer and former director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky – first premiered in New York in 2018, and now comes to Australian audiences at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
The ballet’s central characters Harlequin and Columbine are in love. Columbine’s father isn’t happy about it and has his servant Pierrot lock his daughter up. Pierrot’s wife helps Columbine escape and, with the help of a benevolent good fairy, Harlequin goes to great lengths to win Columbine’s fair hand in marriage. With a cast of characters from the raucous world of 16th-century Commedia dell’Arte, Harlequinade is bursting with colour, dancing and hijinks.
A charming affair for ballet lovers of all ages, Harlequinade features a cheerful score by Riccardo Drigo, a close collaborator of Tchaikovsky. The production is also supported by the work of Robert Perdizola, with colourful picture-book sets and over 250 costumes (over half of which are hats), based on a close study of the 1900 originals that currently live in a museum collection in St Petersburg.
On Friday June 24, The Australian Ballet also presents a very special livestream for those who want to experience the magic of Harlequinade from the comfort of home.
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