The story of Sylvia – an arrow-wielding nymph who scorns love, falls in love, outwits her abductor and wins through to happiness – first became a ballet in Paris over 150 years ago. The delightful Delibes score, which drew a rave review from Tchaikovsky, has since attracted some of the world’s leading choreographers, including Ivanov, Ashton, Balanchine and Neumeier.
In 2019, Stanton Welch’s new production of Sylvia will have its Australian premiere. Welch, who recently staged his versions of La Bayadère and Romeo and Juliet on The Australian Ballet’s stage, is a resident choreographer of the company, the artistic director of Houston Ballet and one of the art form’s great storytellers. His full-length Sylvia revolves around three intertwining love stories and features a striking new design by Jérôme Kaplan (sets and costumes) and Wendell K Harrington (projections), the creative dream team behind The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella.
Welch’s Sylvia (which requires the lead ballerinas to learn sword-fighting) promises three strong superheroines, all the passion and humour of Greek myth, virtuoso dancing and one of ballet’s most stirring scores.