Broadcast live from the Arts Center in Melbourne and available to audiences around the world on June 10, Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer, one of the most ambitious contemporary dance productions to ever appear in the company’s repertoire. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/live-on-ballet-tv.
Originally created for pioneering dance company Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) on its 60th anniversary in 2019, Kunstkamer had never before been performed by any other company. The landmark production, hailed as a “masterpiece” and a “triumph” by critics, was crafted by some of the most in-demand choreographers working in ballet today, former NDT resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and NDT associate choreographers Marco Goecke and crystal pit.
During a rare stage appearance by the company’s artistic director, the public will have the opportunity to see David Hallberg perform alongside Australian Ballet dancers in a solo role in the critically acclaimed production.
Kunstkamer, which translates from Dutch as “chamber of art” or “art cabinet,” is inspired by The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a four-volume 1734 book by Dutch pharmacist, zoologist, and collector Albertus Seba.
At the intersection of science and art, a cabinet of curiosities brings together fascinating objects from around the world, presenting seemingly disparate elements in ways that give them new meaning.
The result is a contemporary two-act ballet featuring many short movements, elegantly woven with key dance motifs and recurring characters. This selection of artfully arranged pieces wittily interrogates the possibilities of dance, from the most poetic pas de deux to spellbinding and intricately choreographed group scenes involving the entire company of 80 dancers.
Kunstkamer offers music by Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Schubert, Arvo Pärt, Joby Talbot and Ólafur Arnalds, among others. The scenography by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot places the action in a vast space surrounded by large facades in the neoclassical style, with dancers entering and exiting through many different doors on two levels. Elements of songs, movies, and spoken word add additional texture to the world of curiosities created in this mysterious room.
Artistic director David Hallberg said: “I chose to bring Kunstkamer because it showcases the rich diversity of Australian Ballet dancers.
“Kunstkamer will show audiences what else is possible in dance, seen through the most modern and compelling form of expression and I am thrilled to usher in a new style of dance with everyone on stage, in theater and to audiences around the world through our live broadcast. This is a work not to be missed.” David Hallberg mentioned.
Kunstkamer broadcasts live from the Arts Center Melbourne at 7:15 p.m. (AEST) on Friday, June 10 and will be available to stream for 48 hours from the start of the live broadcast. Tickets can be purchased at www.australianballet.com.au/the-ballets/live-on-ballet-tv.