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Beauty indeed: Ballet's return to Gold Coast will be HOTA than ever

Culture

Following last year’s box-office record-breaking run, the Queensland Ballet will present a limited season of The Sleeping Beauty later this month in the first of a pair of exclusive productions at Home of the Arts (HOTA) at the Gold Coast.

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The performance will be the first under the new partnership between Queensland Ballet and HOTA that aims to break the acclaimed dance company out of its Brisbane city limits and make it “truly Queensland’s ballet company”.

Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin said he was looking forward to bringing the iconic production to Gold Coast for an exclusive season from 25-26 February, after its stellar Brisbane season last May.

In a departure from the classics, The Sleeping Beauty will then be followed by Moonlight Ballet, inspired by music from the Rolling Stones, at the Gold Coast in November.

“The Sleeping Beauty returns to the stage with all the enchantment of classical ballet, captivating audiences with exquisite Renaissance-inspired costumes, spectacular choreography and elaborate stage sets, all under the spell of Tchaikovsky’s dramatic musical score,” Li said.

Li said the blockbuster ballet would delight audiences with “the magic of a fairy tale where evil tries but fails”.

Under the partnership formed late last year, Queensland Ballet committed to establish a performing home at HOTA.

“To truly be Queensland’s ballet company, we strive to engage meaningfully with the wonderful communities that make up our state,” Li said.

Queensland Ballet is also building a purpose-built Production Arts Centre that includes a 500-seat theatre, at Yatala in the city’s north.

HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke said the Gold Coast had turned into the company’s home away from home.

“The partnership between Queensland Ballet and HOTA is an alignment of our values as two leading organisations in southeast Queensland,” Gehrke said.

“We are both deeply committed to supporting, nurturing, celebrating and showcasing artists, and have a rich belief in the impact art has on its community.

“The exclusive season of The Sleeping Beauty at HOTA is a moment of celebration of the partnership that we get to share with audiences.”

Queensland Ballet will also showcase an exclusive season of Moonlight Ballet at HOTA in November.

The two 2022 performances follow the Queensland Ballet debut of Giselle at HOTA in 2020.

“After such a positive reception from our Giselle season, Queensland Ballet and HOTA have harnessed our chemistry, and I am beyond excited to announce that both seasons at HOTA in 2022 will be exclusive to the Gold Coast. The Sleeping Beauty in February and then Moonlight Ballet in November,” Li said.

In last year’s Queensland Ballet production of Greg Horsman’s compelling interpretation of The Sleeping Beauty, the ballet welcomed Li’s wife Mary back to the stage to perform as the Queen for three special performances, helping propel the season to sell-out highs.

Mary Li famously performed as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty with the Houston Ballet, opposite Li Cunxin as her Prince. Mary Li retired from the stage in 1992.

Mary Li will not be performing in this month’s The Sleeping Beauty but is expected to again take the stage in Queensland Ballet’s performance of Manon in September.

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