Ballet without borders: Vitesse

Three of the world's greatest contemporary choreographers come together to bring you Vitesse.

By Benjamen Judd 

Starting April 26 and running until May 16 at the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Ballet will launch their 2016 season with Vitesse – a triple bill performance created by Christopher Wheeldon, Jirí Kylián, and William Forsythe. 

The premise of Vitesse is a visceral journey – faster, deeper, louder – that challenges the traditional idea of ballet in three parts: 

Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, which will be making its Australian debut. Inspired by France’s Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV), DGV follows the movement of a train disappearing and re-appearing out of a tunnel, with the dancers taking the viewers on a rapid journey of movement.

Jiři Kylián's Forgotten Land, with its haunting seascape and swirling dresses, is reminiscent of an Edvard Munch painting come to life. It tells the tale of a community struggling to survive in harsh conditions. Set to Benjamin Britten’s powerful Sinfonia da Requiem, the fluid movement speaks of yearning, mourning and escape. 

The last performance is William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. A famously explosive and extended ballet technique, Forsythe’s dance was original commissioned for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1987. Set to an equally electric and provocative score, the dancers prowl the stage like panthers before hurling themselves into ultra-stretched poses, punctuated by the electronic collisions of the score. 

Vitesse is showing at the Sydney Opera House from April 26 until May 16.

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