Sylvia, an epic journey, combining the stories of Ancient Greek heroines premieres at the Australian Ballet on 31 August.

The work brings together a highly anticipated collaboration between The Australian Ballet and The Houston Ballet in a brand new production that makes its debut to Australian audiences at the Arts Centre Melbourne this weekend through to 10 September.

The new production was created by the Melbourne-born artistic director of the Houston Ballet and resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet, Stanton Welch AM. The co-production had its premiere in Houston in February 2019 and met with rave reviews that marvelled at the stunning interpretation of this classic story, set to the fabled Leo Delibes score.

After attending the world premiere in Houston, David McAllister, artistic director of The Australian Ballet, says, “We’re so pleased to see this co-production come to life; we love being able to bring new and exciting ballets to our Australian audiences.”

It is the first time that The Australian Ballet has danced this production, and Stanton has created a vibrant and action-packed version that ballet-loving audiences will enjoy.

“In Sylvia, everyone can look forward to Stanton’s dramatic choreography, set to music by Delibes that even Tchaikovsky declared to be the perfect ballet score. To dance Welch’s version of this story, The Australian Ballet’s female dancers will be required to learn sword fighting so we’re very much looking forward to seeing our dancers embody fierce, arrow-wielding nymphs and huntresses.”

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Audiences will join the fierce goddess Artemis, the adventurous nymph Sylvia and the mischievous Psyche as they navigate desire and deception in the realm of short-tempered gods and fantastical creatures.

A world-class team of creatives has delivered a modern edge to this re-imagined Sylvia. The sumptuous sets and costumes were created by the renowned ballet and opera designer Jerome Kaplan, the mastermind behind Lucas Jervies’ 2018 production of Spartacus.

Digital pioneer Wendell K Harrington has provided stunning projections, whereas Lisa J Pinkham gives atmosphere to this lively tale.

The rarely staged ballet was first performed in Paris over 150 years ago. In the Australian’s bold retelling of the classical ballet there will be all the passion and humour of Greek myth, tangled love affairs and sword fighting ballerinas.