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'Anna Karenina' and 'Romeo and Juliet' Lead the Australian Ballet's Dazzling 2022 Lineup

As well as two literary classics brought to life via dance, the Australian Ballet's 2022 lineup includes a comedy by the choreographer behind 'Swan Lake' and a 25-dancer piece with a score by Sufjan Stevens.
By Sarah Ward
October 26, 2021
By Sarah Ward
October 26, 2021

One tells of a woman seeking passion instead of a loveless marriage. The other follows star-crossed lovers held back by their respective families' long-simmering feud. Beloved on the page, and rarely far away from a screen or stage, they're two of the most famous stories of the past few centuries. And, both Anna Karenina and Romeo and Juliet are among the big highlights of the Australian Ballet's just-announced 2022 season.

Anna Karenina will kick off the Australian Ballet's year with stints in Melbourne (from February 25–March 9) and Sydney (April 5–23). Here, in a co-production with the Joffrey Ballet that had its world premiere in Chicago in 2019 and then debuted locally in Adelaide this year, Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece comes alive with ex-Bolshoi Ballet dancer Yuri Possokhov's choreography. The story remains the same, with its eponymous figure seeking happiness but finding ruin — but you can expect quite the sweeping and sensuous production.

Dancing with the Bard, the Australian Ballet's version of Romeo and Juliet will then close out its 2022, with Shakespeare's most famous duo also taking to the stage in Melbourne (October 7–18) and Sydney (December 1–21). Clearly, there's nothing like bookending a year with two stone-cold classics. John Cranko's production has been regular in the company's repertoire ever since it premiered back in 1974, in fact, and will again turn medieval Verona into a sumptuous onstage realm — all set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev that dates back to 1935.

Pierre Toussaint

Both Anna Karenina and Romeo and Juliet were originally meant to be highlights of the Australian Ballet's 2021 season, but we all know how this year has turned out. Also in the same camp: Harlequinade, a comedy by Marius Petipa, who choreographed Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. It'll bring its story of young lovers Harlequin and Columbine to Melbourne only (from June 17–25).

As well as this rescheduled trio, plenty of other highlights will pirouettes across the stage, including Kunstkamer, which was created at Nederlands Dans Theater and has never before been performed by another company; and triple bill Instruments of Dance, which includes a nine-part ballet designed for 25 dancers and set to a score by Sufjan Stevens.

And, there's also Counterpointe, which'll take its focus on ballet's extremes to Adelaide only — plus a regional program that'll tour Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Pierre Toussaint


  • Anna Karenina: February 25–March 29 at Arts Centre Melbourne; April 5–23 at the Sydney Opera House.
  • Kunstkamer: April 29–May 15 at the Sydney Opera House; June 3–11 at Arts Centre Melbourne.
  • Harlequinade: June 17–25 at Arts Centre Melbourne.
  • Counterpointe: July 7–13 at Adelaide Festival Centre.
  • Instruments of Dance: September 23–October 1 at Arts Centre Melbourne; November 10–26 at the Sydney Opera House.
  • Romeo and Juliet: October 7–18 at Arts Centre Melbourne; December 1–21 at the Sydney Opera House.

Season packages for the Australian Ballet's 2022 Sydney and Melbourne performances go on sale from 12.01am on Wednesday, October 27. For further details, head to the Australian Ballet website.

Top image: Simon Eeles.

Published on October 26, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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