DRAFT PRESS RELEASE FOR AUSTRALIAN BALLET (need logo for letterhead) by dfhrf555fcg


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    A bride, her prince and his mistress…
  “…exhilarating, absorbing and technically demanding and theatrically seductive.”
                            Sydney Morning Herald 2002

              Wales Millennium Centre 13-16 July 2005
               The London Coliseum 20-24 July 2005

After more than twelve years, The Australian Ballet returns to the UK in July
2005 with the international debut of Graeme Murphy’s critically acclaimed,
multiple award-winning new production of Swan Lake. For the UK tour,
which is managed by Askonas Holt, the company is presenting 13
performances in Cardiff and London.

Murphy’s Swan Lake was the first ballet commissioned by David McAllister
after becoming The Australian Ballet’s artistic director in 2001 (following 18
years as one of its leading dancers). It was created to mark the company’s
40th anniversary in 2002, a nostalgically apt choice as Swan Lake was the
first ballet the company ever performed under the leadership of its founding
director Dame Peggy van Praagh. On its debut, this powerful interpretation of
the iconic ballet sensationally sold out seasons across Australia, won nine
major awards in one year, and moved audiences to tears.

Murphy insists that the credit for Swan Lake be shared with his artistic
associate of many years Janet Vernon, and designer Kristian Fredrikson with
whom they have collaborated for more than 25 years. A master storyteller,
Murphy’s choreography dramatically communicates the passion and emotion
of betrayal and unrequited love: Odette is betrothed to Prince Siegfried, yet
deeply apprehensive of his relationship with the Baroness von Rothbart.
However, it is not until after the wedding that the true nature of Siegfried
and the Baroness’ relationship is revealed to Odette, causing her such
distress that, by royal command, she is committed to a sanatorium. There
she finds comfort and escape amongst serene white swans in a frozen dream
world. Australian critics have picked up on more than a hint of another world
famous royal menage à trois that finds several parallels in this story of
adultery, personality disorders and betrayal of innocence.

The Australian Ballet will be only the second ballet company (after the Kirov)
to appear at the new Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff with its six
performances of Swan Lake. Theatre Programmes Director Fiona Allan
comments: “The Australian Ballet is a world class company that has been
absent from the UK stage for far too long. We’re delighted to be welcoming
the Company to Wales Millennium Centre during our opening year, and to be
hosting the UK premiere of Graeme Murphy’s acclaimed Swan Lake. I’m sure
that it will mark the beginning of an exciting relationship between Australian
Ballet and WMC.”

Askonas Holt is presenting the company at the London Coliseum with seven
performances including two weekend matinees. Martin Campbell-White, Joint
Chief Executive says: "All of us at Askonas Holt are excited to be associated
with such a world-class company as The Australian Ballet. This is our first
presentation in the magnificently restored London Coliseum. We hope there
will be many more." While Seán Doran, Artistic Director and Chief
Executive, ENO comments: “I am delighted to welcome The Australian Ballet
back to the London Coliseum, home of English National Opera, to open the
first summer dance season in our magnificently restored theatre. Having
spent five years in Australia as Artistic Director of the Perth International Arts
Festival, it gives me added pleasure that they will be the first international
dance company to visit the London Coliseum under my artistic direction.”

David McAllister anticipates the tour with excitement and pride: “After twelve
years it is wonderful to bring our company back to the stage in the UK -
especially with this work, of which we are so proud. Swan Lake is a great
ballet that has inspired artists since its premiere in 1877, but this new
version by Graeme Murphy retells the story in a way that speaks to our
generation, and has attracted a new audience to classical ballet in Australia.”


Further press information:
Debra Boraston
T. +44 (0) 20 7483 1950
E. debra@henrymoorestudio.co.uk

Tickets and booking information:
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff T. 08700 402000 www.wmc.org.uk
London Coliseum T. 020 7632 8300 www.eno.org

Press release date: 21 October 2004

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