Recent decades have seen the opening or upgrading of numerous performing arts centres throughout regional Australia enabling the development of vigorous circuits for popular artists and encouraging productions by community-based groups. Major performing arts companies also tour. Symphony orchestras are immensely popular and an enduring favourite is The Australian Ballet, this year celebrating 40 years of regional touring with a program artistic director David Hallberg is calling 40th Anniversary Gala. From 20 July to 21 August, the company will dance in nine centres in NSW, Victoria and South Australia ranging from Wagga Wagga to Whyalla, all reached easily from numerous towns in their vicinities.The company will be performing excerpts from greatly loved ballets including The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote as well as two rarely seen ballets, Spring Waters and Poems. A particular highlight of these galas will be Swan Lake Variations, an as yet unseen work choreographed by the former artistic director David McAllister. While David Hallberg is making his mark on the company, David McAllister is now freelancing having retired from the company after 40 years service, first dancing, then as director for 20 years. He is contracted to choreograph and direct productions for several international companies. It was gratifying to see David McAllister elevated to Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
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