Past Media Releases

American Ballet Theatre swans into Brisbane

18 June 2014

Some of America’s most exciting ballet stars will tour with the American Ballet Theatre for their first ever season in Australia, adding to the momentum of ballet in this state and delivering on the government’s election commitment to showcase the arts that Queenslanders want to see.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the Brisbane program would be enriched by the talents of David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Daniil Simkin and Cory Stearns, complementing a year that could become known as a golden era for ballet lovers in Queensland.

Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside have also been confirmed.

“The American Ballet Theatre’s performance of their interpretation of Swan Lake, which Queenslanders have shown is one of their firm favourites, is a nod that we’re attracting high calibre artists who are listening to what Queenslanders want,” Mr Walker said.

“A dynamic ballet season will give audiences what they want to see, and offer interesting repertoires to encourage new favourites.

“We’re proud to announce the company’s entire ensemble of 90 dancers will travel to Brisbane for this exclusive season from 28 August to 7 September this year.”

Mr Walker said the American Ballet Theatre would present two programs exclusively in Brisbane, including Swan Lake choreographed by the company’s artistic director Kevin McKenzie, and the Three Masterpieces program, comprised of Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free.

“This is a truly international company, with dancers who have trained, performed and are respected globally,” Mr Walker said.

“Hallberg is the only American to have been a principal dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet, Stearns has been highly awarded throughout his career including a full scholarship with the Royal Ballet in London, and Misty Copeland is the first African American in the past two decades to be appointed a soloist at the company.

“Events such as this exclusive season continue to deliver on the Government’s commitment to grow cultural tourism in this state by providing world-class arts performances that people will travel to see.

“They show that Queensland has a bright future in the arts and our strong plan will see that happen.

“The other states must be wondering how we’re pulling it off.”

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the season was sure to attract interstate visitors, given the globally celebrated calibre of American Ballet Theatre performers and confirmation of the principal dancers as part of the season. 

“The past two Queensland Performing Arts Centre International Series events attracted audiences from throughout Queensland and Australia: in 2013, 40 percent of audiences at QPAC for the Bolshoi Ballet came from outside of Brisbane,” Mrs Stuckey said.

“This season is another win for this great state and is a must-see on Queensland’s vibrant cultural events calendar, providing theatre lovers with a further reason to visit and enjoy our fabulous arts scene.

“These events help us deliver on our election promise to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy.”

The QPAC International Series is a joint initiative of QPAC and Tourism and Events Queensland in association with the Brisbane Festival to bring the world’s finest performing arts companies exclusively to Brisbane.

American Ballet Theatre tickets are on sale now via or phone 136 246.

[ENDS] 18 June 2014
Media Contact: Monica Rostron 0409 126 332