A trio of works of strength and sensuality
Empyrean | June 17 & 18 | Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Three separate new works by choreographers Timothy Harbour, Simon Hoy and Rani Luther form The Melbourne Ballet Company’s newest work, Empyrean.
Empyrean is taken from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘highest form of heaven’.
These three distinctly different Australian choreographers are carving out impressive reputations on ballet stages around the world and have pooled their international talents to create a thrilling and emotive new show specifically for the Melbourne stage.
Director at the Melbourne Ballet Company, Simon Hoy, said: “We are bringing an international standard of dance to St Kilda. We give the audience three dramatically different works that showcases the artistry of classical ballet yet in a contemporary way.”
Resident choreographer at The Australian Ballet, Timothy Harbour, said of his work in Empyrean: “I’ve kept the dancers from touching but not apart. So, there is no partnering or manipulation of each other’s bodies meaning there is the opportunity to see each dancer’s contribution to the whole production in a very distinct way. It’s truly spectacular.”
According to Hoy, Empyrean then takes a sudden turn: “Rani Luther has created a work full of intimate contact, dramatic lifts of ballerinas in to the air. She has put together a real mix of strength and sensuality.”
Luther is helping to spearhead a new wave of female choreographers in ballet, and 2016 sees her choreographic debut for the Melbourne Ballet Company.
“After an 18 year career dancing in companies such as the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet Company, I have watched and learnt from the best and drawn from all of my experiences for Empyrean,” said Luther.
Simon Hoy, who developed his career on New York and European stages, says the three different ‘episodes’ in Empyrean combine to provide an overall journey of ‘heavenly’ proportion.
“My work combines moments of single focus on one dancer who is suddenly partnered in an edgy explosion, so three different approaches but one show that celebrates the talents of some Australia’s best dancers and creators,” said Hoy.
This year the Melbourne Ballet Company received Australia Council funding which will allow for an increase in their national touring program, it will tour extensively throughout Australian and New Zealand presenting over 30 performances and 50 workshops and commenced a residency at the Alex Theatre St Kilda.