Arts Review


Queensland Ballet presents Trilogy, a triple bill featuring three short works: A Brief Nostalgia / Rooster / My Brilliant Career to audiences this winter - offering an escape from the monotony of everyday life to observe world-class ballet performed at The Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre. An exciting opportunity to view the works of world-renowned choreographers Cathy Marston, Jack Lister and Christopher Bruce. Trilogy takes a step away from traditional narrative, as can be seen in performances such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, and welcomes a new perspective with the fusion of contemporary dance and ballet.


A Brief Nostalgia is a co-production between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Queensland Ballet, demonstrating the potential behind collaborative works. This piece begs to be experienced as a whole, as opposed to outlined in a synopsis and encourages the audience to think for themselves and ascribe their own meaning based on the combination of performative elements such as music, lighting, props and choreography. Lister cleverly utilises the performers throughout this performance. The clever use of choreography allows for a seamless transition between a couple dancing to a group formation.The lighting design creates a certain sense of ambiguity, an overall evocative piece that was somewhat mysterious in nature.


Rooster serves as an interlude of sorts as it breaks up the tension of the previous piece by not taking itself too seriously. The vibrancy of the costumes, in addition to the kooky dance moves made it an enjoyable act. My Brilliant Career, on the other hand, was a lot more subdued. Music performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Gaynor. The dancer’s costumes were coloured by muted tones, and the set was reminiscent of an old-fashioned film set while the performers used body language to communicate to one another as opposed to any kind of dialogue. Unlike Opera, which heavily relies on spoken and written language to convey deeper meaning, ballet dancers can be seen using every part of the body, in addition to the choreography implemented, to communicate these ideas, thoughts and feelings.


As Queensland Ballet continues to evolve over the years, it will be interesting to see which new narratives the team decides to bring to the table and the ideas explored in more abstract works as can be seen in Trilogy or Bespoke. As QPAC continues to expand with the development of the new venue, it is apparent that the investment of performing arts facilities proves these artforms, whether it be opera, ballet, theatre, will continue to be accessible to new and existing audiences and for generations to come.


As can be best described the Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO: “Season 2023 is a year rich in storytelling, from literature-driven world premières, magical classics steeped in history, and incredible blockbusters, to astounding works that will captivate, entertain, and challenge audience perceptions of dance." Welcoming audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Queensland Ballet creates a safe space to explore an artform traditionally reserved for the elite in society.


If you are interested in learning more information about Trilogy or to book tickets you can click here. In the same vein, if you are interested in learning more about the upcoming performance Bespoke, click here.


Trilogy: A Brief Nostalgia / Rooster / My Brilliant Career - 16-25 June, Playhouse, QPAC


Review: Joanna Letic


Imagery: David Kelly


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