All photos credited to Robert Spankie

If you haven’t experienced a performance by the Australian Ballet, this is one show you do not want to miss. Anna Karenina, based on the original novel by Tolstoy, is an incredibly powerful production, beautifully performed, that speaks truths through dance.

I have always been in awe of dancers’ ability to tell stories without dialogue, and this show was no exception. It can be a little daunting heading into a performance with no knowledge of the storyline, but it’s definitely an experience I recommend. The performers were all extremely captivating, and the choreography held a lot of emotion, which always makes for more interesting dance performances.

My partner joined me at this show, and to set the scene, he is a large, Lebanese man who has never once even considered attending the ballet. I must admit, I was a little nervous about what his reactions might be, but he had only incredible things to say, which bodes well for the general public.

The orchestra created a very eerie setting from the opening notes of the show, coupled with the beautiful voice of Mezzo-Soprano, Dimity Shepherd. Led by Nicolette Fraillon AM, the orchestra maintained a beautiful atmosphere throughout the show. The set and costumes were quite minimalist, in contrast to many of the traditional ballets I have attended, which kept the focus on what we were all there to see – the dancing. All of the principal dancers were very strong, but in particular I loved the performance by Benedicte Bemet, who played Kitty Shcherbatskaya. Make sure to also keep an eye out for soloist Rina Nemoto, who won the 2022 Telstra Rising Star award, for exceptional talent and bright future, announced on opening night. 

Anna Karenina is more than just a ballet, it is truly a piece of art, and is definitely worth checking out. The show is running at the Sydney Opera House until April 23rd. Before you enter the theatre, make sure you read the synopsis provided by the Aus Ballet!

For more about Anna Karenina, check out our interview with Australian Ballet soloist Imogen Chapman

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