Orchestra Victoria


The Australian Ballet

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Darci O'Rourke, Australian Dance Theatre with artists of The Australian Ballet
Photo Simon Eeles

A new program from two of Australia’s leading choreographers

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  • Melbourne

    16 – 24 June 2023

    State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne

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Daniel Riley

Evoking a search for cultural perpetuity, the first work THE HUM is a new dance-theatre work created by Daniel Riley, Wiradjuri man, and Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre. Centred upon the tangible yet invisible creative connection between performers, orchestra and audience, this work will unite artists of Australian Dance Theatre and The Australian Ballet in a never-before-seen collaboration.

Working together to realise a new ceremonial space of sharing and communality spanning rehearsal studio and stage, this work forges new relationships and develops a shared physicality, exploding with future-focussed visions.

The work is enriched by a brand new commissioned score for a full orchestra by celebrated Yorta Yorta composer and soprano Deborah Cheetham AO, the first female First Nations composer to be commissioned by The Australian Ballet.

Taungurung fashion designer and educator Annette Sax will design bespoke contemporary costumes inspired by the textures and elements of the land. Adelaide based multidisciplinary artist Matthew Adey will also develop a set and lighting design for this world-premiere collaboration.

THE HUM celebrates a resonance between our musicians, our dancers and the swell of our land, celebrating the idea of the individual artist as part of a broader creative ecosystem of shared knowledge, emotion and energy.

Alice Topp

The Australian Ballet's Resident Choreographer Alice Topp will premiere her new work Paragon in 2023, a powerful tribute to the company's origins, strength and evolution.

Paragon explores the pursuit of perfection and excellence in the art form of ballet, while also referencing the idea that the company was formed under conditions of pressure and immense expectations, much like a diamond in the natural world.

In the company's own diamond anniversary year, Paragon is a gift that celebrates a collective artistic vibrancy, and the rich tapestry of artists that have shaped Australia's ballet landscape.

Topp's work is an alchemical mix of this generation's most exciting emerging talent, and the masters and icons of past decades. In realising this work, Topp will join forces with long-time collaborator Lighting Designer Jon Buswell, along with Australian composer Christopher Gordon and Costume Designer Aleisa Jelbart.

Through a rich palette of intergenerational company artists, Paragon is a modern work that challenges and moves audiences in a journey embodying the heart and soul of The Australian Ballet.

Watch the trailer

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Daniel Riley and Alice Topp are two of Australia’s leading choreographic voices. They both explore what identity means to them, whether it be the identity of Australia, the identity of community, or the identity of art. In honour of our 60th anniversary, we look at the sense of identity in today’s artists.

David Hall­berg, Artis­tic Direc­tor of The Aus­tralian Ballet

Production credits


Direction and concept Daniel Riley, Wiradjuri
Choreography Daniel Riley, in collaboration with cast
Music Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta
Costume design Annette Sax, Taungurung
Set and lighting design Matthew Adey

The Australian Ballet commission, choreographed by Daniel Riley in association with Australian Dance Theatre.


Choreography Alice Topp
Music Christopher Gordon
Costume design Aleisa Jelbart
Set and lighting design Jon Buswell