A West Australian Ballet performance always makes a night out absolutely brilliant. In the past, I have always attended the ballet at His Majesty’s Theatre, a beautiful Edwardian Baroque venue where the dancers perform alongside The West Australian Symphony Orchestra. His Majesty’s is the perfect venue for the ballet, as it perfectly mimics the mesmerising, grand and elaborate attributes of the ballet itself.
However, The Quarry Amphitheatre provides an entirely different experience for the viewer. The juxtaposition between the rough and untamed outdoor landscape of the Quarry and the poised and perfectly choreographed ballet dancers on a stage nestled within this setting presents a unique beauty of its own.
The West Australian Ballet hold a season “Under the Stars” annually at The Quarry Amphitheatre. This year’s performance, entitled Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry is a part of Perth Festival, running until the 3rd of March. It is the perfect choice for an introduction to the ballet—the relaxed atmosphere, with eating and drinking allowed during the show, and four smaller performances as opposed to a single 2-hour long show make for a more casual evening than those held at His Majesty’s.
Upon arrival to The Quarry you’ll have the option to visit the bar, and if you chose to buy a picnic basket when booking your tickets, you can collect it here. Alternatively, you can do what I did and bring your own food into the venue. My Mum and I opted to visit The Boatshed to pick up a couple of their amazing poke bowls before heading to the show. Watching fit and gorgeous human beings do amazing things with their bodies, while you’re sitting there in your jeans and jumper, chowing down, definitely calls for a somewhat healthy picnic (it’s all about balance guys).
Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry consists of four separate ballet performances, Paradise Within, Les Indomptés, Ghost Gum and the main show Milnjiya, Milky Way—River of Stars. Each performance had an entirely different storyline, but each seemed to flow into the next relatively seamlessly. My personal highlights were certainly Ghost Gum and Milnjiya, Milky Way—River of Stars, however, each of the performances were truly incomparable.Milnjiya, Milky Way—River of Stars was a particularly captivating collaboration between the Darwin-based NT Dance Company, Rachael Wallis Aboriginal Dance Company, Moonfish Dance Collective and West Australian Ballet, with live vocals from soprano Deborah Cheetham. Choreographed by Larrakia man Gary Lang, this performance provided a beautiful display of unity between the First Nations, including the Larrakia, the Yolngu and Yorta Yorta, coupled with ballet and opera. It was an experience unlike any other–presenting a rare partnership between very culturally diverse performing arts forms.
Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry is an unmissable Perth Festival event. Take some yummy food, a jumper (or alternatively you can drink the chills away) and perhaps a little insect repellent and be prepared for a spectacular dance display among the gumtrees at The Quarry.