The Australian Ballet’s most lavish production, David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty returns for a special encore season

The Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Justin Ridler

The Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty. Photo Justin Ridler

The Australian Ballet’s most lavish production, David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty returns for a special encore season

Reawakening a world of courtly love, charming fairies and a glittering masked ball, The Australian Ballet’s dazzling production of The Sleeping Beauty tours to Melbourne and Sydney in 2017. Spectacularly reimagined by Artistic Director David McAllister, this extraordinary production returns to the stage following widespread critical acclaim and sell-out debut seasons in 2015. The Sleeping Beauty opens at Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre from 16 to 27 June, and then in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre from 11 to 25 November.

Accompanied by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score and dressed in exquisite costumes by internationally renowned designer Gabriela Tylesova, a cast of royals and courtiers, fairies and wood nymphs, bluebirds and storybook characters bring new life to a classic story.

David McAllister’s interpretation remains faithful to the spirit of the original choreography of 19th century master Marius Petipa. Audiences will be delighted by the famously challenging balances of Princess Aurora’s Rose Adage, her romantic Wedding Grand Pas de deux with the Prince and the lively variations of the couple’s storybook friends.

Theatre designer Gabriela Tylesova has captivated audiences around the world with her richly imaginative sets and costumes, and has been honoured with multiple Helpmann and Green Room Awards. Her designs for The Sleeping Beauty evoke the splendour of Louis XIV’s court with breathtakingly opulent gilded sets and hundreds of colourful costumes, made with the attention to detail of haute couture. Garments of satin, tulle and silk are adorned with beads and faux fur, sequins and braid, crystals and cut-out lace.

In collaboration with Marius Petipa, Tchaikovsky composed The Sleeping Beauty in an inspired 40 days. His iconic score propels the action while also mirroring the inner workings of central characters, a pioneering technique which adds layers of complexity to the story. His orchestration and unusual instrumental combinations were ground breaking in their time and inspired other great composers in years to come.

This production is the first full-length work by The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister, for whom creating The Sleeping Beauty in 2015 was a crowning moment in his career. In 2017 McAllister enters his 16th year as Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, following an 18-year career as a dancer in the company.

This production is the most ambitious ever staged by The Australian Ballet. More than 2,000 people contributed upwards of 70% of the total production costs during a landmark fundraising campaign, without which the new production would not have been possible.

The Sleeping Beauty has already been enjoyed by over 65,000 people, with sell-out seasons in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth following the world premiere in 2015.

The Sleeping Beauty
Doomed from infancy to fatally prick her finger on her 16th birthday, Princess Aurora is saved from the curse of spiteful Carabosse by her champion the Lilac Fairy, who lulls the kingdom into a deep slumber. When the lonely Prince Désiré learns of Aurora’s fate, he comes to her rescue with a redemptive kiss of true love. The couple celebrate their wedding and coronation in the light and bustle of the revived palace, with a masked ball attended by fairies, bluebirds and familiar friends from the pages of Grimm’s fairy tales.

Choreography Marius Petipa
Production and additional choreography David McAllister
Music Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Costume and set design Gabriela Tylesova
Design Associate
Kat Chan
Dramaturge Lucas Jervies
Lighting design Jon Buswell
With Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne
With Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney
16 JUNE – 27 JUNE
Arts Centre Melbourne State Theatre
Capitol Theatre
For tickets please visit the website


STEP INSIDE the Ballet  The Australian Ballet’s much-loved Step Inside program gives a rare look behind the curtain.
Boys Day
In this boys-only class, taught by one of our male dancers, learn moves and techniques, have the chance to ask questions afterwards and even watch company class. An unforgettable day of fun and dancing, just for the boys.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Saturday 17 June, 10am – 12.30pm, $29
Saturday 11 November, 10am – 12.30pm, $29
Post Performance Q&A
The Sleeping Beauty  audiences are invited to stay behind after the show for a special Q&A with Artistic Director David McAllister and a panel of artistic staff and dancers.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Monday 19 June, Free
Sydney, Capitol Theatre
Monday 20 November, Free
Music Talk
Music Director and Chief Conductor Nicolette Fraillon gives a fascinating insight to the Tchaikovsky score you’re about to hear in these free pre-performance talks. Learn about the composer’s life, the historical context of the music and what it’s like to conduct and play.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Wednesday 21 June, 12pm – 1pm, Free
Sydney, Capitol Theatre
Wednesday 22 November, 12pm – 1pm, Free
McAllister in Conversation
Artistic Director David McAllister hosts an intimate talk with a luminary from the ballet world.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Saturday 24 June, 5pm – 5.45pm, $25
Sydney, Capitol Theatre
Saturday 18 November, 5pm – 5.45pm, $25
Meet the Musicians
In this free conversation series, Chief Conductor and Music Director Nicolette Fraillon interviews musicians from the orchestra. Hear outstanding artists talk about their passion, and the dedication that drives them, in these fascinating talks.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Saturday 24 June, 6pm – 7pm, Free
Sydney, Capitol Theatre
Saturday 25 November, 6pm – 7pm, Free
Once Upon a Time: The Sleeping Beauty
Once Upon a Time: The Sleeping Beauty is a magical experience that will make you gasp, dream and laugh! This special one-hour version of a storybook ballet is performed live on stage and narrated by one of the central characters. Perfect for children, it’s fun, interactive and will have everyone out of their seats, twirling for joy. Come dressed in your favourite ballet-inspired or fairytale outfits. This performance will be fully orchestrated with Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Sydney.
Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne
Tuesday 27 June, 12.30pm (60 minuets)
Sydney, Capitol Theatre
Wednesday 15 November, 12:30pm (60 minuets)
All special events and talks presented with the ballet can be booked here


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