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Q+A David McAllister

Q+A David McAllister

The Sleeping Beauty (photography Georges Antoni).

What can audiences expect from this production? Is it one for the kids?
I think it will be a true spectacle, as the sets and costumes are amazingly opulent and beautiful – and the whole company is involved, so there’s a huge number of people on stage. I found it to be a magical ballet when I saw it as a child. It has some extraordinary dancing so it will be a great vehicle for first-timers as well as hard-core ballet fans. We made it quite a bit shorter than other productions of The Sleeping Beauty that we’ve staged, so I hope it will keep children (and their parents) fully engaged.

Do you have a favourite moment?
So many! The entrance of the fairies will be magical. The Rose Adage in Act One, where Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) is courted by four suitors, has some of the most amazing music in the show – it also contains the famous balances for the ballerina, which is a fabulous feat to watch. Then of course The Kiss is a big moment.

Do you enjoy coming back to Perth?
I love it, and it is even more special when it is with the company. I am always amazed at how the city continues to grow, and there are always wonderful new restaurants to visit and places to discover.
I remember as a young dancer how exciting it was to see The Australian Ballet performing in Perth. Western Australia is so lucky to have its own ballet company, but it is also great to see the national company performing large-scale works. And I know how much the dancers love swimming in the Indian Ocean (we do have the best metropolitan beaches in Australia).

What’s up next for The Australian Ballet?
I am really excited about the plans for next year – we have a huge program to be rolled out in 2016 and beyond. Unfortunately I can’t spill the beans yet, but we will be announcing just before our visit to Perth. I can say that we are once again part of the international live streaming event World Ballet Day on October 1, when we’ll kick off the 24-hour live event alongside the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet of London, National Ballet of Canada and the San Francisco Ballet. I’m sure it’ll get people in Perth primed for our season.

Crown Theatre, Oct 7-10.

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