Immerse yourself in the thrilling contemporary dance production, Kunstkamer. This landmark show was originally produced for the 60th anniversary of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). It was created by some of the most in-demand ballet choreographers of the time, former NDT House Choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and NDT Associate Choreographers Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite. And now, the show is performing outside of the Netherlands for the very first time. The Australian Ballet is currently playing Kunstkamer at Sydney Opera House until May 14, and will then play at Arts Centre Melbourne from June 3 to 11.
The Australian Ballet
Kunstkamer, or ‘chamber of art’ in Dutch, was inspired by 1734 book, The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Created by Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector Albertus Seba, this book chronicled fascinating objects from around the world.
The dance weaves together elements such as stark movement, song, film and spoken word into an intriguing mix. The two-act contemporary ballet features recurring characters, key dance motifs and a mixture of live orchestral pieces, recorded songs and works played on a piano onstage.
The performance features music by Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Schubert, Arvo Pärt, Joby Talbot, Ólafur Arnalds and more. The dance ranges from intimate pas de deux to intricate ensemble scenes from the whole company.
“Kunstkamer will show audiences what else is possible in dance, seen through the most modern and compelling form of expression, and I am thrilled to usher in a new style of dance with everyone on stage and in the theatre,” said Artistic Director David Hallberg. “The work shows the immersive power of art by bringing the audience into a world that isn’t immediately obvious, but is certainly intriguing.”
In addition, Kunstkamer will feature two world-renowned dancers as guest artists. The first is the director himself, David Hallberg, and the second is former NDT dancer, Jorge Nozal. Nozal performed during the World Premiere season in the Netherlands in 2019, and was the original muse of the role. Hallberg will perform on opening night in Melbourne, and the two dancers will split the role during the rest of the season.
Kunstkamer opened to a standing ovation in Sydney last week, and will continue to perform until May 14 at the Joan Sunderland Theatre in Sydney Opera House. After that, it will come and play at Art Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre, from June 3 to 11.