The Melbourne Ballet Company's newest work, Empyrean, is taken from the Ancient Greek meaning -highest form of heaven'. Giving life to this lofty image are three separate works created by three distinctly different Australian choreographers all of who are carving out impressive reputations on ballet stages around the world.
Timothy Harbour, Simon Hoy, and Rani Luther are the Aussie trio who have pooled their international talents to create a thrilling and emotive new show specifically for the Melbourne stage, specifically the Alex Theatre St Kilda.
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 dancers' 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." She said.
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.
You can see Empyrean at the Alex Theatre, St Kilda, on 17th and 18th June 2016. Tickets are available at: http://www.alextheatrestk.com/whats-on-alex/empyrean