Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu will toast The Australian Ballet at tonight’s celebrations to launch its 50th Anniversary Gala performances at Arts Centre Melbourne.
“It’s impossible to imagine our cultural life without the enormous contribution of this much loved company,” Mr Baillieu said.
Mr Baillieu congratulated the Melbourne-based, national company on fifty years of excellence.
“For five decades, The Australian Ballet has been redefining ballet in this country, carving out an international reputation and creating a distinct Australian style.
“It honours the classics, while working with cutting-edge choreographers, costume and set designers to push the boundaries and create extraordinary new works.
“The Australian Ballet has grown to become one of Australia’s largest national performing arts companies and one of the busiest ballet companies in the world.
“The company has mounted more than 7,000 shows in cities and regional areas, toured to 37 countries and danced through 250,000 pairs of pointe shoes, and I am very proud that it still calls Victoria home,” Mr Baillieu said.
The 50th Anniversary Gala performances feature excerpts from the Ballet’s best known and most loved performances across the ages including Don Quixote, Giselle and Carmen.
As well as the stars of The Australian Ballet, the performances feature guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of China and The Tokyo Ballet – representing the international collaborations and connections the company has formed over the past 50 years.
The Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary year has seen the company host education programs, perform in every state and territory in Australia, mount exhibitions and tour to New York for the first time in over a decade.
Mr Baillieu said the Victorian Coalition Government was a proud and long-term supporter of The Australian Ballet.
“This Golden Jubilee year has provided a great opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of the past and look to the stunning future that lies ahead,” Mr Baillieu said.
The Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Gala performances are on November 2nd and 3rd 2012. For more information about the performances and the 50th anniversary year, visit www.australianballet.com.au