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The Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer
The Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer

The Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer

Melbourne, VIC
★★★★★ Don’t miss this tour de force and masterpiece contemporary production by The Australian Ballet

About The Australian Ballet presents Kunstkamer

Never before has The Australian Ballet presented contemporary dance of this scale and ambition. Commissioned for the 60th anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theater, the world’s most celebrated contemporary company, and now presented for the first time outside of the Netherlands by The Australian Ballet, Kunstkamer is the joint creation of four choreographers: frequent collaborators Paul Lightfoot and Sol León; Marco Goecke; and the Canadian prodigy Crystal Pite.

Inspired by the 18th-century cabinet of curiosities, this work draws together diverse elements – stark movement, song, film, spoken word – into an eclectic and fascinating whole, bound together by recurring motifs and characters and featuring music by a vast array of composers from Beethoven to Bach to Britten, Janice Joplin to Joby Talbot.

The choreography, moving from the intimacy and humour of solos and pas de deux to intricate waves of ensemble movement, references dance theatre traditions while exploring new frontiers of expression.

Like a modern museum curated with wit and incisive intelligence, Kunstkamer invites you to wonder at the endless possibilities of art.

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Kunstkamer is a celebratory work made by the Nederlands Dans Theater for its 60th anniversary. It involves four choreographers, a huge cast – more than 80 dancers on stage at once sometimes – and an unlikely cross-section of music, from Beethoven to Janis Joplin.

★★★★½ "Don’t miss this tour de force from the Australian Ballet" - The Sydney Morning Herald

★★★★★ "Kunstkamer is a masterpiece and this production by The Australian Ballet exceeded all expectations, proving a triumph for AD David Hallberg and the dancers." - Limelight

"It’s performed with the frame-by-frame urgency of a graphic novel and – herein lies its brilliance." - The Guardian

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID HALLBERG WILL JOIN THE COMPANY TO DANCE ON STAGE IN A SERIES OF SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES FOR KUNSTKAMER Melbourne Season (Subject to change): Friday 3 June 7.30pm, Saturday 4 June 7.30pm, Tuesday 7 June 7.30pm, Wednesday 8 June 7.30pm, Friday 10 June 7.30pm, Sat 11 June 7.30pm.

"As The Australian Ballet approaches its 60th anniversary celebrations, it seems fitting to perform a work created as a 60th anniversary celebration. Kunstkamer is dance at its most surprising, seen through the lens of some of the most inventive choreographers working today. This work takes The Australian Ballet in a new direction, exploring new movements and nuances. What unfolds is a world of curiosity and beauty.” David Hallberg (Artistic Director)

Choreography: Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke

Composers: Ludwig van Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Arvo Pärt, Béla Bertók, Franz Schubert, Benjamin Britten, Henry Purcell, Joby Talbot, Johann Strauss Jnr, Christoph W Gluck, Chavela Vargas, Ólafur Arnalds

Costume design: Joke Visser, Hermien Hollander

Original lighting design: Tom Bevoort, Udo Haberland, Tom Visser Film Rahi Rezvani

With Opera Australia Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria

Australian Production Photography: Daniel Boud

World Première 3 October 2019, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague, the Netherlands

Kunstkamer is generously supported by Joan Clemenger AO and Peter Clemenger AO, Linda Herd, Shane Lloyd and Alan Joyce AC and The David Hallberg Fund.

Start date

June 3rd, 2022

End date

June 11th, 2022


Ballet, Dance


Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre

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