Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland

20/08/2015 - 21/08/2015

Production Details

Auckland Live presents

Melbourne Ballet Company: Infinite Space

Takes centre stage at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, for
New Zealand premiere

Auckland Live is proud to announce Melbourne Ballet Company’s premiere season in New Zealand, performing their acclaimed celebration of beauty and hope, Infinite Space. 


“…Essential and compelling viewing.”The Herald Sun (Melbourne)


Melbourne Ballet Company was founded in 2007 by Resident Choreographer Simon Hoy and Director Alisa Finney.Hoy consistently creates works that celebrate the athleticism, strength and grace of the Melbourne Ballet Company dancers, seamlessly blending classical ballet with contemporary theory and ideas, believing that “Dance is the poetry of athleticism. It’s the bodies, it’s the craft, the stamina and the expression.”


This exciting young company has been heralded for their craft and work, consistently presenting exciting and truly remarkable performances across Australia. Their dancers have honed their skills in some of the most renowned companies in the dance world, including The Paris Opera Ballet, Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York.


“Hoy’s choreography allows his talented cast scope for the expressive upper body arcs, gorgeous extensions, and soaring lifts that make watching (and performing) ballet a joyful experience” – The Age (Melbourne)


For Melbourne Ballet Company’s Auckland premiere they will perform a breathtaking ensemble programme of contemporary ballet. Infinite Space features fluid and expressive choreography executed with flawless ballet technique, accompanied by a sparkling selection of musical masterpieces. Audiences will be carried away on a choreographic journey through four thrilling works inspired by human interdependence and the endless possibilities in life for change and renewal. The company will perform their signature work, Infinite Space, and three gorgeous short pieces: Phrased without Words, Lucidity, which features a duet by internationally recognised dance-maker Tim Podesta,and Divenire. Each piece isset to stunning music by Mozart, Arvo Pärt, Ólafur Arnalds and Ludovico Einaudi, whose recent tour of New Zealand was a classical highlight.


“Paired with romantic and emotive musical choices, Hoy’s choreography is highly decorative, drawing on classical vocabulary and peppered with whimsical gestures as well as leggy partnering work and lifts.”  Sydney Morning Herald


Melbourne Ballet Company: Infinite Space, shows

Live at Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
Thursday 20 and Friday 21 August, 7.00pm

A Reserve $59.00*
B Reserve $49.00*
Concession: Secondary school students $39*
*Service fees apply. Student ID required for concession price

BOOKINGS or 09 970 9700

Proudly presented by Auckland Live.



Infinite Space

Choreographed by Simon Hoy to the Clarinet Concerto in A Major and the 27th Piano Concerto by Mozart.

Infinite Space is Melbourne Ballet Company’s signature work. Through the fluidity of the dancers’ movements that glide effortlessly from one shape to the next, this uplifting work is a celebration of hope – through the beauty of music and dance.

Phrased Without Words

Choreographed by Simon Hoy to Arvo Pärt’s enigmatic composition Spiegel im Spiegel.

In German, “Spiegel im Spiegel” can literally mean both “mirror in the mirror” as well as “mirrors in the mirror” – referring to the infinite number of images produced by parallel plane mirrors. Phrased Without Words is a physical representation both of the score, and this idea.

In Pärt’s score, tonic triads are endlessly repeated with small variations as if they are reflected back and forth, with an almost hypnotic effect. This is also interpreted in the dance, where solos, duets and pas de trios develop within the work over nine minutes.


Choreographed by Simon Hoy with a duo by Tim Podesta to music by Ólafur Arnalds.

This performance expresses that when you live by clear intentions, there are few limits to the rewards that life can bring. This arresting work, created by Simon Hoy and featuring a duo by Tim Podesta, takes the audience through four electrifying movements.


Choreographed by Simon Hoy to music by Ludovico Einaudi.

“Everything changes and nothing remains still … and … you cannot step twice into the same stream.” Heraclitus

This constant unfolding of reality was the backbone of Heraclitus’s philsophical concepts, which inform this dance. Divenire represents change, movement and the endless scroll of reality. Even what seems static to sensory perception is, in truth, dynamic and constantly changing. This piece is comprised of three movements; White Cloud, In Another Life and Divenire, meaning ‘to become.’

About the Company

Alisa Finney – Director

Alisa launched the Melbourne Ballet Company in 2007 with a vision to create a world-class ballet company to support and showcase the extensive talent of the Australian classical dance industry, and also to offer a vehicle for emerging and established artists to thrive and develop collectively. A graduate of the Australian Ballet Schools Teachers Training Program and Principal of the Gay Wightman School of Ballet, Alisa sits on several dance boards and has earned great respect within the industry for her ability to maintain the momentum of a professional company that is high in artistic integrity and able to produce new work that is exciting and relevant to audiences. With the company now in its ninth year of operation, and after many successful performance seasons nationally and internationally, Alisa looks forward to the Melbourne Ballet Company’s continued success.

Simon Hoy – Tour Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer

Simon has been Resident Choreographer of Melbourne Ballet Company since his return from New York in 2007 and has been Tour Artistic Director since 2011. A professional dancer since 1998, he worked in Europe as a soloist and danced principal roles with Ballet Graz in Austria, Ballet Mainz in Germany, Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark and Carolina Ballet, before joining Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York. Simon has worked with outstanding teachers and choreographers including Wilhelm Burmann, Adam Luders, Johnny Eliason, Hans Van Manen, Nils Christe, Peter Schaufuss, Darrell Tolone, Peter Brauer, Martin Schlapfer, Donald Mahler, Robert Weiss, and Natalie Weir.  He has created 16 works for Melbourne Ballet Company including Placement, Infinite Space, Motion Transcend, On Air, Dark Before Daylight, Phrased Without Words, HorizonVariation and Divenire, and he also choreographed Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas for the Victorian College of the Arts. In recent years Simon has worked internationally with Quorum Ballet in Lisbon, and directed the Rosenberg Ball in St Gallen, Switzerland. 



Dance , ,

90 mins

Full of promise but falls short

Review by Sarah Knox 21st Aug 2015

Founded in 2007, Melbourne Ballet is a young company, grounded in the language of classical ballet, exploring the realm of contemporary dance. The company presents Infinite Space – a programme of four contemporary ballet works choreographed by resident choreographer Simon Hoy. This is their first tour to New Zealand and the company is well suited to the modern atmosphere of the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna. The programme notes are philosophical, promising a commentary on relationships and hope for a new tomorrow.

The four works, Lucidity, Phrased Without Words, Divenire, and Infinite Space showcase a movement vocabulary that is consistent throughout the entire programme. Unsurprisingly, the movement phrases echo ‘typical’ Australian ballet-based contemporary dance movements that are all straight-legged, flexed-footed and jaunty-hipped. It is a challenge for any dance maker to create a movement language that articulates their choreographic identity, while also simultaneously reveal ing the unique language that each new dance work demands. Simon Hoy’s movement style is clearly evident, but each piece ends up looking a little like the same dance, costumed differently, with a change of music.

Choreographically, there are some innovative moments of partnering, while other moments are clunky and disjointed. With little use of momentum, the movement can appear stuck and forced at times. Additionally, the dancing is not always crafted to allow the audience to view the most aesthetically pleasing lines and shapes that a classical ballet vocabulary can offer. At times we are confronted with unnecessary bottoms and crotches when actually we’d perhaps be more interested in the outstretched reach of an arm indicating a point in space, or the undulation of a spine communicating a breath of anticipation.

The Melbourne Ballet Company dancers are beautiful human beings, and are very skilled and highly trained. They possess the ability to easily achieve the technically challenging movement sequences prevalent within each work. However, there is a lack of breath and malleability of plié and this, combined with wobbly ankles and a sense of fatigue, results in instability at moments throughout. I also yearn for the dancers to find a deeper and more authentic connection with one another, to really touch each other instead of ‘showing’ or ‘performing’ to us their stroke of a limb or caress of a cheek.

Unfortunately the show is littered with uncomfortable silences, technical difficulties, and awkward, unrehearsed and slightly too lengthy curtain calls. The lighting design produces dark holes in the space where the dancers are lost, and harsh, cold ‘spot lights’ in every piece do not serve to create a unique ‘world’ for each work to exist within. Neither does the sci-fi projection (a journey through space, time and water), or the fabric draped across the backdrop (echoing Graham Murphy’s The Protecting Veil), assist in contextualizing the content of the works.

The programme is probably one work too long – unfortunately the last piece, Infinite Space, heralded as a “celebration of hope” and MBC’s signature piece, falls short. It is the most dated work of the programme and feels the most contrived (including sprinkles of flower petals and shards of tinsel), and disconnected from the reality of our Australasian cultural context.

If we take the stance that a dance work is a reflection of how a group of people (the dancers, but in particular the choreographer) see the world, then Infinite Space does provide a perspective I can connect with. I leave the theatre pondering: What does leotarded chasé pas de bourée, pas de chat, wrist flick mean to us in 2015? When a dancer gazes longingly out into the darkness of the auditorium how are they attempting to make us feel? What responsibilities do choreographers in our contemporary world have to develop dance works that progress the ways in which we reimagine codified dance styles, such as classical ballet? For what purpose are we combining ballet and contemporary dance techniques, and how does this affect the stories we tell?

Finally, it seems the venue might be slightly too large, in both stage size and audience capacity, for the company. Perhaps Q Theatre on Auckland Queen Street might attract a more significant audience and provide the company with tighter and more energized performance space.

Infinite Space no doubt provides a lovely night out at the theatre. The lady sitting next to me certainly thought so. There are beautiful bodies doing some very satisfying developés and catapulting into grande jetés to enjoy. Let’s hope there has been time and attention focused today to ensure a slick and more settled second and final show tonight.


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