Outgoing WA Ballet artistic director Ivan Cavallari has programmed John Cranko's towering masterpiece Onegin for the 2013 season, his final program with the company but one that will be steered by his replacement, Aurelien Scannella.
Calling Onegin the Everest of Cranko's dramatic ballet repertoire, Cavallari said it had been a long-held ambition to bring the production by the National Ballet of Prague to WA. The season next September/Ocober would be the first time Onegin had been performed by the WA Ballet, which had finally reached a level of accomplishment to pull it off, said Cavallari, who will return to Perth to stage it.
"This is something I have wanted to do for a long time but for costume and set problems somehow we just didn't make it happen," Cavallari says. "This Onegin forms a bridge between what we have done up until now and a new beginning for the company."
Cavallari leaves Perth at the end of year to head the Ballet de l'Opera National du Rhin in Alsace, France. The Belgian-born Scannella arrives at WA Ballet in January.
"It will be good for me to come back after four or five months and work again with, I can still say, my babies," Cavallari says. "The circle needs to become bigger and continue. It is a good transition between the six years of mine and into a new beginning."
Inspired by Alexander Pushkin's verse novel, Onegin is set to the music of Tchaikovsky and tells the story of a St Petersburg dandy who spurns the woman he later recognises as his true love.
Next year will be a year of consolidation for WA Ballet after its 60th anniversary celebrations, the move into its new home in Maylands and the creation of new works like Pinocchio, which ends tomorrow. Season 2013 will see more mainstream classical works from the repertoire.
The year begins in February, as usual, with the outdoor summer season at the Quarry Amphitheatre, where there will be two world premieres - Yes, I'll Move for You, from former WA Ballet dancer, Cass Mortimer Eipper, and Jubilate from current dancer Daniel Roberts. From the great American choreographer Glen Tetley comes his modern classic, Voluntaries.
The company opens the doors of His Majesty's Theatre in May with La Sylphide, the story of a forest sylph who uses her magical gifts to attract a young Scotsman on the eve of his nuptials. Originally created by August Bournonville in the 1880s, Danish repetiteur Dinna Bjorn will stage a new production for WA Ballet with a new set from Richard Roberts and costumes from Lexi George.
For the Christmas season, Peter Pan will fly across the stage in a new production from Russell Kerr and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, with picture- book designs by the late Kristian Fredrikson inspired by J. M. Barrie's tale. Also next year are a regional tour of Youri Vamos' gangster-era Romeo and Juliet, which opened in Perth in 2009, and the Genesis program for the company's dancers to try their hand at choreography.