Catch Australian Ballet’s “Kunstkamer” Livestream, Featuring a Rare Performance by David Hallberg

June 9, 2022

On June 10, The Australian Ballet brings the critically acclaimed Kunstkamer from the Arts Centre Melbourne to the global, digital stage in a stunning merging of dance and technology. The livestream is part of the company’s Ballet TV programming, which will include Alexei Ratmansky’s Harlequinade on June 24 and John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet on October 18, along with exclusive footage and interviews.

Co-choreographed by former Nederlands Dans Theater resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot and NDT associate choreographers Marco Goecke and Crystal Pite, Kunstkamer was commissioned to celebrate NDT’s 60th anniversary in 2016. The work had never been performed by another company until The Australian Ballet’s April 29, 2022, premiere. The digital broadcast, captured live from Australian Ballet’s June 10 performance, will include a performance by artistic director David Hallberg, who refers to the work as a “beautiful monster.”

Kunstkamer, a Dutch word meaning “chamber of art,” draws inspiration from The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a four-volume book written in 1734 by Dutch pharmacist, zoologist and collector Albertus Seba. The two-act contemporary ballet—featuring music by Beethoven, Janis Joplin, Schubert, Arvo Pärt, Joby Talbot and Ólafur Arnalds, and set designs by León and Lightfoot—is composed of several intricate, short movements that range from pas de deux to large-scale group sections featuring the entire 80-dancer company. 

“I chose to bring Kunstkamer because it showcases the rich diversity of the dancers of The  Australian Ballet,” Hallberg said in a statement. “Kunstkamer will show audiences what else is possible in dance, seen through the most modern and compelling form of expression and I am thrilled to usher in a new style of dance with everyone on stage, in the theatre, and to audiences all over the world through our live-stream.”

Photo by Daniel Boud, courtesy The Australian Ballet.

The digital broadcast also gives viewers a rare opportunity to see Hallberg perform again. The former American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet principal will dance a solo role alongside his company, which he has led since 2021.

Kunstkamer streams live from Arts Centre Melbourne at 7:15 pm AEST (5:15 am EST), Friday, June 10, and can be viewed for 48 hours after the start time. Tickets can be purchased here.