Skip to main content

Your free what's on guide to the NT

Swan Lake

Ballet in the desert? Not what you’d assume to be a thriving option for Territorians.

By Hannah Muir

“Every day someone asks me if there’s ballet in the NT and they are always surprised by my answer, particularly in Alice,” says Lynne Hanton, Duprada Dance Company Artistic Director.

Lynne opened Duprada in Alice Springs in 1984 and 10 years later expanded to Darwin as well. In fact, Lynne was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2011 for the development of classical ballet and choreography in the Northern Territory.

So yeah, there’s ballet in the desert and the Top End. And once a year, they merge to perform in both Alice Springs and Darwin.

Though of course, as has been the way throughout the pandemic, the last few years have been a little messy meaning the two studios haven’t been together in quite some time. However, this is soon to be resolved as a delayed celebration of 20 years of Duprada in Darwin, dancers from both studios perform Swan Lake at Darwin Entertainment Centre.

“There’s a lot of excitement, we have quite a few first-time travellers as well as seasoned performers,” said Lynne.

It doesn’t take a ballet buff to know at least a smidge about Swan Lake. If not the classic story, perhaps the iconic score, or at the very least the Dance of the Cygnets (tip: YouTube it for an instant reminder). As Lynne says, it’s “a quintessential love story”.

With its exquisite music by Tchaikovsky, stunning costumes, and based on the choreography by Anne Woolliams, it’s all-time favourite. Presented in four acts, this dramatic ballet switches between the grand ballroom of a palace and the calm and magical moonlit lake. The performance provides an opportunity to get back into the theatre after some disrupted years.

“We can celebrate what we have in the NT for young people,” said Lynne.

“[audiences can expect to see] an artform that a lot of people work hard on to bring the most amount of professionalism as possible.”

Swan Lake

Photo: Rod Diehl

More reads

Advertisement: Darwin Fringe 2024