9 Feb - 3 Mar

West Australian Ballet’s outdoor summer season as a part of Perth Festival is set to break new ground

Be prepared to experience the pure, raw energy of dance and the beauty of human movement.

One of Perth’s favourite summer traditions, and a keystone of Perth Festival, Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry will be a unique combination of contemporary dance and dining under a canopy of stars, surrounded by the magnificence of the Quarry Amphitheatre in City Beach.

Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry

This year, West Australian Ballet will present a series of four unmissable short works which includes two World Premieres and one Australian Premiere.

The first work can be described as a breathtaking feast for the soul. Milnjiya: Milky Way – River of Stars will see a ground-breaking collaboration between Gary Lang NT Dance Company, West Australian Ballet and Opera Artist Deborah Cheetham AO, as they bring together two Indigenous nations, the Larrakia and Yorta-Yorta. This collaboration and telling of a First Nation story through traditional dance and contemporary ballet will be a world first.

Gary Lang creating silk costumes. Photo credit: Scott Dennis

This innovative work tells Lang’s adoptive mother’s original Yolngu creation story about the journey from sea to sky of two fishermen who were knocked from their canoe by a large wave as they become part of Milnjiya (the river of stars in the sky). The performance will see a mix of traditional Indigenous dance performed by Gary Lang NT Dance Company dancers with the contemporary ballet included in the piece, performed by West Australian Ballet.

We spoke briefly to Gary Lang on what this new work means to him and how his relationship with Artistic Director of West Australian Ballet, Aurélien Scannella, grew.

“I met Aurélien in 2013, when I was working with Ochre,” Gary explains. “Aurélien watched what I was doing and told me he’d like to work with me. “I was blown away… that someone of that calibre and from the heights of the dance world would just go with a feeling and want to take a risk with a non-mainstream company, with an indigenous choreographer.” You can hear him smiling as he talks. “I love West Australian Ballet for that.”

As Gary describes the new work and the significance it represents, it is easy to tell that he is excited and eager for the task at hand. He is clear that he wants people to simply feel and experience rather than rationalise or to try and prepare to see his work. “One of my mottos is; don’t come along with any preconceived ideas; just come along for the journey.”

Following this collaboration will be the Australian Premiere of highly acclaimed French Choreographer Claude Brumachon’s Les Indomptés. This piece has been performed all over the world and has been created for two men, specifically brothers.

Quarry Amphitheatre. Photo credit: Tony Currie

Les Indomptés is a ‘dual flight’ full of energy, seeking something to ‘let go of ’ – to find the desire in a body offered, letting the vocalism of movement vibrate. The dancers tear themselves away, run and fly, wild and savage, re-discovering their first animal instincts then repel themselves, finding the ecstasy in the moment.

When speaking about this popular work, Aurélien Scannella said; “I only wish I danced longer so I could have got to perform this world class piece.”

Another exciting French Choreographer joining West Australian Ballet for the season in City Beach is Patrick Delcroix. His highly secretive work World Creation, promises to tantalise the audience.

Delcroix has created over 25 works all around the world and in 2001 was awarded an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, or an Order of France for services to the arts.

Christopher Hill rehearsing The Clearest Light. Photo credit: Tony Currie

Last but not least on the card for the Quarry, and following the success of his beautiful work, The Clearest Light presented at Takuto: Ballet at the Quarry 2017; is West Australian Ballet’s own Demi-Soloist Christopher Hill who will premiere Ghost Gum.

This exciting and raw piece will be a gorgeous duet for two women, exploring the relationship between earth and water, and whether one would survive without the other.

Working behind the scenes on this diverse production will be renowned Australian artist, Designer Gav Barbey (creating sets and costume designs) and highly acclaimed Lighting Designer Joseph Mercurio.


9 Feb – 3 Mar


Click here to grab your tickets now! 


Production Credits

Milnjiya, Milky Way – River of Stars

Choreographer: Gary Lang

Sets: Gav Barbey

Costumes: Gav Barbey in collaboration with Lyndell Darch

Lighting: Joseph Mercurio

Opera Artist: Deborah Cheetham AO


Les Indomptés

Choreography/Costumes/ Lighting: Claude Brumachon

Assistant Choreographer: Benjamin Lamarche

Re-light: Joseph Mercurio

Music: Wim Mertens


Ghost Gum

Choreography & Music: Christopher Hill

Costumes: Christopher Hill in collaboration with Lyndell Darch

Lighting: Christopher Hill in collaboration with Joseph Mercurio

Sets: Gav Barbey


World Creation 

Choreographer: Patrick Delcroix

Costumes: Gav Barbey

Lighting: Joseph Mercurio