#Every step a story

You can switch off the lights, but you can never extinguish the flame.

2021 marked a triumphant return to the stage and a vibrant year of dance for Queensland Ballet. Dancers returned with vitality, celebrating the joy of live performance.


Queensland Ballet burst back to life with enchanting, dark and unexpected tales. The 2021 calendar was full, enlivened with every aspect of performance audiences love: compelling musical scores; elaborate stage design; inspired costumes.

We had the opportunity to make up for lost time from the cancelled 2020 season, beginning with the 60th Anniversary Gala. We shared in the magic of the enchanted fairytale, The Sleeping Beauty and travelled through time with Stoker’s hypnotising gothic tale, Dracula

Tutus on Tour leapt back onto the regional stage with a lively program designed for smaller stages. 

Lovers of contemporary dance were thrilled by the return of Bespoke, featuring creative staging, innovative costuming and new sound, lighting and multimedia installations. 

We also introduced Queensland Ballet Academy's Summer Soiree - a night of dance and visual art like no other.

Take a look at the highlights below!

View season brochure

#60th Anniversary Gala

5 - 20 March 2021


A celebration with Queensland Ballet, presenting an exciting retrospective of our evolving story over 60 years. The 60th Anniversary Gala honoured a vibrant history of dance that showcased exciting excerpts from five world-class productions. 

The production paid tribute to each of Queensland Ballet’s five Artistic Directors: Charles Lisner OBE, Harry Haythorne, Harold Collins MBE, François Klaus and Li Cunxin AO. It was heralded a triumphant return to the stage for the entire Company after 2020’s season postponement due to the pandemic, and packed theatres enjoyed the showcase of Queensland Ballet’s 60-year history of achievements

Guest artists included Ako Kondo, Chengwu Guo, Meng Ningning and Hao Bin

CHOPIN PAS DE DEUX Choreographed by Charles Lisner OBE
CLOUDLAND — PAS DE DEUX, ACT II Choreographed by François Klaus
CARMINA BURANA — TAVERN SCENE Choreographed by Jacqui Carroll
THE LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS — PAS DE DEUX, ACT II Choreographed by Harold Collins MBE
DON QUIXOTE — WEDDING PAS DE DEUX, ACT III Choreographed by Marius Petipa
THE LITTLE MERMAID — FINALE, ACT II Choreographed by François Klaus
ÉTUDES Choreographed by Harald Lander

View performance program

Principal Victor Estévez and Senior Soloist Mia Heathcote rehearse the Cloudland Pas de Deux. Image by Stephanie Do Rozario

First Soloist Liam Geck and Queensland Ballet dancers rehearse Carmina Burana. Image by Tamara Hanton

Soloist Vito Bernasconi rehearsing Carmina Burana with Jaqui Caroll and Anthony Shearsmith. Image by Tamara Hanton

Principal Victor Estévez and Senior Soloist Mia Heathcote rehearse the Cloudland Pas de Deux. Image by Stephanie Do Rozario

Principal Camilo Ramos and Queensland Ballet in Carmina Burana. Image by Tamara Hanton

First Soloist Liam Geck and Queensland Ballet dancers rehearse Carmina Burana. Image by Tamara Hanton

Jaqui Caroll and Queensland Ballet dancers in Carmina Burana. Image by Tamara Hanton

François Klaus and Senior Soloist Mia Heathcote rehearse Cloudland. Image by Stephanie Do Rozario

First Company Artist Liam Geck and Queensland Ballet dancers rehearse Carmina Burana. Image by Tamara Hanton

Queensland Ballet dancers rehearse the Defile. Image by Courtney Adams

#The Sleeping Beauty

4 - 19 June 2021


Be drawn into the fairytale world of good versus evil as Queensland Ballet performs The Sleeping Beauty. Experience the power of a kiss under the spell of Tchaikovsky’s dramatic musical score, performed live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 

Enjoyed by more than 25,000 people across the two-week season, The Sleeping Beauty broke our box office record and cast a spell of enchantment across the Brisbane arts scene. This was our third time presenting Greg Horsman’s compelling interpretation of this popular classical ballet by Marius Petipa, and Delighted critics and audiences alike with its exquisite Renaissance-inspired costumes, spectacular choreography, and elaborate stage sets.

Mary Li returned to the stage for select performances, as The Queen.

CHOREOGRAPHER Greg Horsman (after Marius Petipa)
COMPOSER Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER Gary Harris
LIGHTING DESIGNER Jon Buswell
LIGHTING RECREATOR Ben Hughes
CONDUCTOR & MUSIC ARRANGER Nigel Gaynor
LIVE MUSIC PARTNER Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Go behind the curtain

#Bespoke

8 – 17 October 2021


A visual treat of contemporary dance that stretches the imagination and pushes the dancers to their boundaries, Bespoke 2021 introduced the audience to a new way of thinking about movement and storytelling in an innovative, edgy and captivating experience.

The fourth year of our annual contemporary season showcased four compelling new works by local choreographers Natalie Weir, Rani Luther, Jack Lister, and Paul Boyd. As per its tradition, Bespoke defied audience expectations and pushed the boundaries of dance, exploring narratives of history, travel, migration, love and – pro wrestling, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats.

The season was also impacted by COVID-19, with the announcement of heightened restrictions to Stage 2 on 30 September. QB planned for 75% theatre capacity for the season of Bespoke, so three extra performances were added to the schedule to increase availability. First Nations choreographer Daniel Riley was also in the process of creating a new work for this 2021 season, however was unable to complete it due to the ongoing Melbourne lockdown and border closures. 

CARAVANSERAI
CHOREOGRAPHER Paul Boyd
MUSIC Osvaldo Golijov, Alan Pierson, James Tawadros, Uzeyir Hajibeyov
Traditional (from the album ‘Silk Road Journeys, Beyond the Horizon’)
COSTUMERS Originally designed by Noelene Hill for François Klaus’s Shi-chi Karak – Rhythms of Taiko
LIGHTING DESIGNER Cameron Goerg

FALLEN
CHOREOGRAPHER Natalie Weir
MUSIC Franz Schubert
LIGHTING Designer Cameron Goerg
COSTUMES Originally designed by Noelene Hill for Natalie Weir’s Wuthering Heights

MIND YOUR HEAD
CHOREOGRAPHER Jack Lister
MUSIC The Flamingos, Benny Goodman, Sandy Nelson
COSTUME DESIGNER Zoe Griffiths
LIGHTING DESIGNER Cameron Goerg
SOUND DESIGNER Wil Hughes

FROM. TO. HERE.
CHOREOGRAPHER Rani Luther
COMPOSER Robert Davidson, Orchestra Recorded by Camerata - Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra
CONDUCTOR Nigel Gaynor
COSTUME STYLIST Zoe Griffiths
LIGHTING DESIGNER Cameron Goerg

Creative development of this work was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body

Download the program

#Dracula

24 November – 4 December 2021


It’s love at first bite. Dracula, the unearthly, seductive story inspired by Bram Stoker’s dark love story was presented by Queensland Ballet. Be taken on a journey across centuries into a dark world where true love never dies.

It was a season that had audiences captivated: Dracula topped the list of all-time favourite seasons from many of Queensland Ballet’s biggest enthusiasts. This co-production between Queensland Ballet and West Australian Ballet drew widespread acclaim from audiences and critics, and the dark storyline, sublime score, enthralling choreography from Krzysztof Pastor, and lavish sets and costumes created a production that was quite unlike anything we had done before. 

CHOREOGRAPHER Krzysztof Pastor
COMPOSER Wojciech Kilar
LIBRETTO Pawel Chynowski
MUSICAL ARRANGERS Michael Brett and Joshua Davis
SET AND COSTUME DESIGNERS Phil R. Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith
LIGHTING DESIGNER Jon Buswell
ASSOCIATE LIGHTING DESIGNER Michael Rippon
CONDUCTOR Nigel Gaynor
ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR Lucas D. Lynch
MUSIC PERFORMED BY Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra
— WEDDING PAS DE DEUX, ACT III

Go behind the curtain

#Queensland Ballet Academy Summer Soirée

9 December 2021


Showcasing our talented Academy students, Queensland Ballet Academy collaborated with renowned Australian artist Michael Zavros and Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra for a sophisticated
evening of music, art, and dance. The black-tie event featured new works by choreographers Paul Boyd and Natalie Weir, who used Zavros’ art as inspiration for their pieces. Zavros is known for his hyper-realistic works depicting objects of luxury, decadence and grandeur. 

The night also featured two new works choreographed by Academy students; and a Défilé choreographed by Academy teacher and Resident Choreographer Paul Boyd. 

ECHO OF REFLECTION
CHOREOGRAPHY Paul Boyd
ASSISTANT TO THE CHOREOGRAPHER Claire Phipps-Males
LIGHTING DESIGN Cameron Goerg
COMPOSER John Rotar
COSTUME CONCEPT Kathryn Lee & Paul Boyd
GRAPHICS Natalie Boyd-Mordehai
ART ‘Echo’ Michael Zavros, oil on canvas 2009, 210 x 320cm

WILLOW
CHOREOGRAPHY Natalie Weir
ASSISTANTS TO THE CHOREOGRAPHER Zenia Tátcheva
and Wim Broeckx
LIGHTING DESIGN Cameron Goerg
COMPOSERS Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Joaquín Rodrigo, Liam Bates ‘Vivo’, Johann Sebastian Bach, Edward Elgar
COSTUME CONCEPT Kathryn Lee
ART ‘Weeping’ Michael Zavros, oil on board 2015 29 x 39.8cm, private collection

STUDENT WORKS
FALLING AUGUST
CHOREOGRAPHED AND PERFORMED BY Corina Poh, Alyssa Park, Hana Watanabe, Joseph Moss, Taron Geyl, Hugo Tang.
ACADEMY PROGRAM LEVEL 1 COMPOSER - Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto for Strings in D minor, R.127, II. Largo and III. Allegro.
ART ‘Falling August’ Michael Zavros, charcoal on paper, 2006

SOUL PROGRESSION
CHOREOGRAPHED AND PERFORMED BY Hana Nonaka Aillon.
ACADEMY PROGRAM LEVEL 1 COMPOSER - Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dance NO.20 in E Minor
ART ‘The Loved One’ Michael Zavros Oil on Canvas, 2006

THE PROGRAM ENDED WITH ACADEMY DÉFILÉ
CHOREOGRAPHY - Paul Boyd
COMPOSER Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
ACADEMY LEVELS 6-1 and Pre-Professional Program
ART ‘The Gartensaal’ Michael Zavros

#The Nutcracker

16 – 23 December 2021


This Christmas classic has all the wondrous elements: a buoyant family party, a Christmas tree glittering with ornaments and a surprise magician with presents. As you enter the dream of a young girl, be enchanted by a world of dance featuring mice, toys and lollies that create magic for every imagination.

Featuring lavish Christmas scenes, whimsical snow backdrops, and sugar-filled adventures, our perennial seasonal favourite, The Nutcracker, exceeded expectations and charmed families across Brisbane. In this its ninth year, Principal Artist Camilo Ramos took to the stage for the last time in series of bittersweet moments with his wife, Principal Artist Yanela Pinera, as he retired his performance career to become an Academy teacher.

CHOREOGRAPHER Ben Stevenson OBE
MUSIC Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC ARRANGER Nigel Gaynor
MUSIC PERFORMED BY Queensland Symphony Orchestra
SET DESIGNER Thomas Boyd
COSTUME DESIGNER Desmond Heeley
ASSOCIATE COSTUME DESIGNER Noelene Hill
LIGHTING DESIGNER David Walters
REVIVAL LIGHTING DESIGNER Cameron Goerg

Go behind the curtain

#Discover more


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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. Long before we performed on this land, it played host to the dance expression of our First Peoples. We pay our respects to their Elders — past, present and emerging — and acknowledge the valuable contribution they have made and continue to make to the cultural landscape of this country.

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