The Australian Ballet’s 2018 season is a retrospective of sorts; its program takes inspiration from the imagination and enduring talent of its dancers and choreographers.

The program features works made exclusively for the company, as well as two world premieres, including Spartacus, the famous tale of a gladiator, which audiences have loved since the 1960 film of the same name. The Australian Ballet first performed Spartacus in 1978, and one of the company’s alumni is responsible for this new production. Lucas Jervies’s version of Spartacus will be a dramatic, contemporary reimagining of the story. The production will premier in Melbourne next September, followed by a November season in Sydney.

David McAllister’s acclaimed interpretation of The Sleeping Beauty will run exclusively in Adelaide after sell-out shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The piece is a faithful reproduction of the classic story, told through Marius Petipa’s original choreography and Tchaikovsky’s pioneering musical score. This production is the first full-length work by McAllister, who is The Australian Ballet’s artistic director.

Cinderella is on the bill in Sydney. It is a vibrant revival of the classic fairy tale, directed by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky – the former artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet. His production features surrealist elements – think an animated topiary – and costumes inspired by Dior’s New Look. Melbourne, meanwhile, gets Maina Gielgud’s 1986 classic Giselle.

Verve, three short contemporary works by past and present company dancers, will also run in Melbourne alone. Tim Harbour explores aggression in one of the pieces, Filligree and Shadow, with a minimalist set, vigorous movement and racing electronic score.

The Australian Ballet will also tour regionally in Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory, and will once again present a free outdoor performance in Western Sydney.

For tickets and the full 2018 program, visit australianballet.com.au.

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