Sylvie Guillem's Final Bow

Acclaimed ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem takes to the stage at the Sydney Opera House tonight for the opening night of her farewell tour show  – Life in Progress. After sellout shows in the UK, Sylvie Guillem will perform works by in-demand choreographers in her final world tour.

Sylvie Guillem in the solo dance work, Bye, by Mats Ek. Photo Bill Cooper

She first came to be admired by the world at the age of 19 when Rudolf Nureyev promoted her as the youngest ever étoile at the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet. Since then she has performed all the leading roles of the classical repertoire with the world’s leading companies including The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov, Tokyo Ballet, Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and La Scala. Her first contemporary performances were in 2004 for Broken Fall – the collaboration with fellow Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant, and Michael Nunn and William Trevitt.
Sylvie Guillem in 'Techne'. Photo Bill Cooper

Guillem last appeared at the Sydney Opera House in 2013 in 6000 Miles Away, a show she devised for Sadler’s Wells. Now, at 50, and following a career spanning nearly 40 years, and after dancing every significant role with all the greatest ballet companies and a distinguished career as a contemporary dancer, Sylvie Guillem will take her final bow.

Life in Progress consists of four works:
Techne – a solo from choreographer Akram Khan accompanied by live music;
Here & After – a duet from choreographer Russell Maliphant, performed with Emanuela Montanari from La Scala;
Duo 2015 – a work by William Forsythe, performed by guest dancers Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts;
Bye – a solo created for Guillem by choreographer Mats Ek, for Sadlers Wells’ 2011 triple bill 6000 Miles Away.
Guillem’s awards include an Olivier award, a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Biennale, the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Commandeur dans l’Ordre National du Mérite, Officier des Arts et Lettres, and, in Britain, an honorary CBE.
This is the only opportunity for Australian audiences to say farewell to Guillem as the curtain falls on a stunning career.

Sydney Opera House
Wednesday 19 August – Tuesday 25 August
Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes (approximate and subject to alteration)
Tickets from $79 (booking fees apply)
Bookings via