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Pigs might fly: Ballet shines spotlight on chauvinism in unique new show

Culture

An exploration of male chauvinism, delivered in ballet form, will strut and preen across the Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts (HOTA) stage when Queensland Ballet delivers an exclusive exhibition of two one-act performances.

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A far cry from the grace and beauty of traditional ballet, dancers in vibrant 1960s-era costumes will perform innovative solo and partner works to toe-tapping tunes, including music by the Rolling Stones, in the performances from 10-12 November.

In the first of the Moonlight Ballet works, choreographer Christopher Bruce’s Rooster is billed as an ironic look at the ‘60s and the attitudes of the times – a time of vigour and change, of the emergence of women’s liberation, and when terms like ‘male chauvinism’ and ‘sexism’ and ‘feminism’ finally found their way into the lexicon.

The Gold Coast Moonlight Ballet performances are part of a special outdoor ballet collaboration between HOTA and Queensland Ballet.

It is the second event, after Queensland Ballet performed Sleeping Beauty at HOTA in February, under the partnership that aims to break the acclaimed dance company out of its Brisbane city limits and make it a “truly Queensland’s ballet company”.

Queensland Ballet has also created a purpose-built Production Arts Centre that includes a 500-seat theatre at the northern Gold Coast at Yatala.

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

In the Moonlight Ballet event, Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin will conduct a live on-stage question and answer session as the company prepare for their double bill.

After the performance of Rooster, the swinging 60s theme will then continue in a performance of B-Sides by rising star choreographer Jack Lister.

This fusion of colourful kitsch and seamless contemporary choreography is presented to a recording of hit 60s pop songs, with each new song phased in through the sound of a spinning vinyl record.

Lister said the B-Sides performance is evocative, fun, and a tribute to the classic dance moves of the decade.

Moonlight Ballet, and the earlier performance of Sleeping Beauty at HOTA in February, follow the Queensland Ballet debut of Giselle at HOTA in 2020.

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