Not every young Artistic Director writes a best-selling memoir that is made into a successful feature film. Mao’s Last Dancer was written by Li Cunxin, the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, happily contracted at least until 2020. QB has developed strong community links; just last week ABC Breakfast television featured the company’s ballet class for older people, a studio full of dancing people of a certain age. But Li Cunxin doesn’t neglect the glamour side of the business: the main stage presentations. The 2018 Brisbane season has four Arts Centre programs; also an experimental program at the Powerhouse, a regional tour in June/July and performances in Melbourne. From May 25 to June 3, the QPAC program is a double bill of Carmen and The Firebird.
Carmen, a co-production between the Royal Ballet, QB and Texas Ballet Theatre, is in a version created by Carlos Acosta using Bizet’s opera music newly arranged by Martin Yates. Acosta was a super-star of the Royal Ballet.
The Firebird, co-produced with Norwegian Ballet, will be performed to the 1910 score which brought instant recognition to Stravinsky in Paris. The new version, ‘a Game of Thrones makeover’, will be choreographed by Liam Scarlett who, as well as being Artistic Associate with QB, is Artist-in- Residence with the Royal Ballet. This exciting 32 year-old has been described as ‘the great hope of British choreography’. QB is fortunate to have Li Cunxin as Artistic Director.
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