Melbourne Ballet Company begins 2016 Season with ‘Veil of Maya’

The Veil of Maya in MelbourneLaunching its ninth year of operations, Melbourne Ballet Company is preparing to present its newest show The Veil of Maya at two different venues in Melbourne next month. The show is part of the company’s 2016 Intention and Desire program created by Resident Choreographer Simon Hoy, which will premiere seven new works by some of Australia’s foremost choreographers.


The Intention and Desire program is described as a journey through Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s renowned mural-sized painting “Guernica,” which was completed in 1937. The Veil of Maya show is specifically focused on the concept of illusion over reality. Choreographers Lucas Jervies, Timothy Podesta and MBC dancer Alexander Baden Bryce will each create works for this show. Music will include compositions by Valgeir Sigurdsson, Helter Smelter, Max Richter and Adam Ster.


This show can be envisaged as the first in a trilogy, “embodying some quite unique creative expression together with much choreographic diversity.” It is positioned so that each successive show in the season adds a new chapter to the overarching concept – Intention and Desire. While individual programs can stand alone, they can also be seen as components of the complete season. 


Speaking toward his new work Four Ballet set to music by Adam Ster, Lucas Jervies said, “With each new ballet that I have created since graduating from The Australian Ballet School in 1998, I’ve worked to expand my understanding of the art form’s capacity. This exploration has led me to a holistic approach in the studio; a process that encourages a keener awareness of both mind and body, forcing the artist to be an active thinker through performance. This synergy between the emotional and physical, the internal and external, helped us discover psychological objectives through physical states of being. Exploring the subjective and objective simultaneously allows for a very productive methodology: collectively we created four separate spatial situations that encouraged conflicting relationships to occur between the body and, or inanimate objects. These situations produce beautiful, detailed sequences of movement, which are innately tied to a strong emotional objective.”


He continued, “Four Ballet is made from and for my love of ballet. It’s fast-paced state of apparent emotional catharsis through physical expression is a paradox; it relies utterly on the fundamentals and discipline of the classical ballet technique, and yet is derived from the ineffable nuance of emotion.” [To go behind the scenes of Four Ballet by Lucas Jervies, watch this footage from rehearsal:]


On his new work Artifice set to music by Max Richter, Alexander Baden Bryce said, “I have searched for as many ways as possible to push and extend typical ballet lines to their end limits. The audience will recognize the ballet vocabulary within the work, but they will also be able to see the flair and grace of a more hybrid contemporary ballet piece.”


He added, “Since becoming a member of MBC in 2011, I have had the opportunity to perform many original ballets by Simon Hoy whilst also working under the direction of Daniel Jaber at Leigh Warren & Dancers. Both Hoy and Jaber have thoroughly influenced my current choreographic style. By working with such classically inspired choreographers, I have been able to develop an athletic, yet joyous, outlook on what contemporary ballet can become whilst still being true to the art of ballet.”


The Veil of Maya opens at Hawthorn Arts Centre, with shows on March 4 at 7:30 pm and March 6 at 2 pm. Shortly thereafter, it goes to The Alex Theatre on March 11 and 12. For further information, visit


To watch a trailer for the company’s 2016 season, head to

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