2–6 August 2023 / Royal Opera House, London
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The Australian Ballet today announced that the company will tour to the Royal Opera House in London in August 2023 as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.

The 2023 London Tour will be the first international tour for The Australian Ballet under the leadership of Artistic Director David Hallberg and will see the company perform Kunstkamer – one of the most ambitious contemporary dance productions ever to appear as part of its repertoire. Complementing Kunstkamer will be a one performance only 60th Anniversary Celebration showcasing The Australian Ballet in some of its signature repertoire.

The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg said: “As celebrations for our 60th anniversary get underway and we set our sights on the next decade, we look forward to bringing The Australian Ballet back to our audiences in the United Kingdom (UK) and internationally.”

“The Royal Opera House was a special place for me during my career as a dancer and I am so excited to bring The Australian Ballet back to this storied theatre after an absence of 35 years, reinforcing the company’s reputation for excellence on the world stage.”

The rich tradition of The Australian Ballet performing in the UK began in 1965, with subsequent tours in 1973, 1976, 1988, 1992, 2005, 2008 and 2016.

Embarking on the international tour is set to involve a touring party of up to 100 people, including dancers, musicians, wardrobe, medical, technical, production and support staff, along with 3 shipping containers filled with staging and hundreds of costume items.

Federal Arts Minister The Hon. Tony Burke said: “As Australia’s national ballet company, The Australian Ballet has a long history of international touring that has taken the company to 37 countries and 88 cities since it was founded in 1962. This tour to London once again presents opportunities to showcase The Australian Ballet’s position as a great cultural ambassador for Australia, highlighting the skill and talent of Australian artists and creative talent.”

The London tour will be supported by The Australian Ballet’s Principal Partner Telstra, Official Airline Partner Qantas and Media Partner Times Media Limited.

Created for the pioneering dance company Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in celebration of its 60th anniversary, The Australian Ballet become the first company outside of NDT to perform Kunstkamer in April 2022 with the company’s performances receiving critical acclaim and standing ovations in Sydney and Melbourne.

Kunstkamer showcases the rich diversity of the dancers of The Australian Ballet, while also highlighting the groundbreaking work of four of the most sought-after choreographers working today – Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Crystal Pite and Marco Goecke,” Hallberg said.

The Australian Ballet – 2023 London Tour

2 – 6 August 2023
Ticketing information will be released in the coming months


Kunstkamer, which translates from the Dutch as ‘chamber of art’ or ‘art cabinet’, draws inspiration from The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a 1734 book in four volumes by Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector Albertus Seba. At the intersection of science and art, a cabinet of curiosities brings together fascinating objects from around the world, displaying seemingly disparate items in ways that give them new meaning.

The result is a two-act contemporary ballet comprising many short movements, woven elegantly together with key dance motifs and recurring characters. This artfully arranged selection of pieces wittily interrogates the possibilities of dance, from the most poetic pas de deux to the mesmerising, intricately choreographed group scenes, involving the entire company of dancers.

An eclectic musical roster includes a mix of live orchestral pieces, recorded songs, and works played at an old upright piano stationed onstage alongside the dancers.

Kunstkamer features music by Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Schubert, Arvo Pärt, Joby Talbot and Ólafur Arnalds, among others. Set design by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot places the action within a vast space enclosed by grand neoclassical-style facades, with dancers entering and exiting through many different doors on two levels. Elements of song, film, and spoken word add further texture to the world of curiosities created in this mysterious hall.


Choreography: Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke

Composers: Ólafur Arnalds, Béla Bertók, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Britten, Christoph W Gluck, Lorenz Hart, Janis Joplin, Arvo Pärt, Henry Purcell, Richard Rodgers, Jose Sandoval, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss Jr., Joby Talbot, Willie Mae Thornton

Costume design: Joke Visser, Hermien Hollander

Original lighting design Tom Bevoort, Udo Haberland, Tom Visser

Set Design: Sol León and Paul Lightfoot

Film concept, direction and choreography: Sol León

Filmed and edited by Rahi Rezvani

World Première 3 October 2019, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague, the Netherlands

Australian Premiere 29 April 2022, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Sydney