Three Australian choreographers have joined forces on the Australian Ballet's newest show, Verve. Powered by explosive movement and intense emotion, it's a journey from darkness to light – from unbridled anger to sublime calm – accompanied by a soundtrack that swings from German electronica to Tchaikovsky.
The first act, Filigree and Shadow, is the work of resident choreographer Tim Harbour. He carries the audience into a dark, uncertain world, driven by animal aggression. Think sudden moves, shadowy lighting, an architect-designed set and a score by German collective 48nord, who mix experimental and new music with post-pop and neo-rock.
Next up is Constant Variants, the creation of fellow resident choreographer Stephen Baynes. This strikingly contrasting piece travels into a world of beauty and tranquility. Expect to be carried away by a neoclassical dance of extraordinary grace and poise, set to Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, which features a breathtaking solo cello section.
Rounding out the performance is Aurum, a new work by Alice Topp, who debuted on the mainstage in 2016 with Little Atlas, and has choreographed for Megan Washington and Ben Folds. Aurum's focus is on hypnotising pas de deux (dance duets), which explore the intricacies and dynamics of close personal relationships.
An all-Australian team is behind every aspect of Verve's set design and lighting. It includes resident lighting designer Jon Buswell (Constant Variants) and legendary lighting designer Benjamin Cisterne (Filigree and Shadow), as well as multi-award winning set and costume designer Michael Pearce (Constant Variants) and renowned architect Kelvin Ho (Filigree and Shadow).
Images: David Kelly and Jeff Busby