The Australian Ballet School is thrilled to present the premiere of Possum Magic the Ballet, a captivating adaptation of the all-time best-selling Australian children’s book.
The story will be brought to life by 48 full-time pre-professional students from The Australian Ballet School and coincides with the momentous 40th Anniversary of Mem Fox’s iconic children’s classic.
The performance runs for three shows across 8-9 December 2023 at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse. Tickets go on sale on 28 June 2023.
The production will be choreographed by award winning choreographer Loughlan Prior and will weave together themes of adventure and magic, skilfully employing a fusion of classic and contemporary techniques that will enthral audiences of all ages. The characters from the book will be brought to life through costumes designed by renowned costume designer Emma Kingsbury.
Possum Magic choreographer Loughlan Prior says, “I am so excited to adapt this beloved Australian children’s story into a beautiful a beautiful narrative ballet, unifying our new score with dazzling designs and choreographic story-telling. It is an honour to work with the talented pre-professional students of The Australian Ballet School.”
Possum Magic is a classic story, revolving around the spirited protagonist, a young and courageous possum, named Hush. Her grandmother bestows upon her the power of invisibility, shielding her from the dangers that lie within the Australian bush. Hush’s journey becomes a tapestry woven with happiness and endless wonder. As the vibrant chapters of her adventures unfold, an undeniable yearning begins to stir within her, a desire to reclaim her visibility and embrace the world in all its splendour.
Speaking on the launch of the collaboration, Mem Fox, Author of Possum Magic says,
“The Australian Ballet School’s choice of Possum Magic to develop as a ballet this year, of all years – its 40th anniversary – has raised the book to an unexpected pinnacle and made me the proudest writer in Australia. The pages of Possum Magic have provided a magical experience for parents and children for forty years. I am very excited to see the magic leap from the page to the stage through the artistry of The Australian Ballet School.”
Julie Vivas, Illustrator of Possum Magic, says “I am always excited when fresh ideas come in a new medium for Possum Magic. It is such an honour that The Australian Ballet School has chosen this book in its 40th anniversary year. I can’t wait to see how the dancers bring our beloved characters to life!”
Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School says, “It’s such an honour for The Australian Ballet School to be trusted with this production. Possum Magic is a cherished book, and I know it will be held in the hearts of our dancers and audiences even more so after this experience. What a wonderful piece to be explored by our young artists in training under the guidance of choreographer Loughlan Prior, and supported by such an inspired creative team. I can’t wait to share this incredible new production.”
The Possum Magic ballet will be performed by senior full-time students of The Australian Ballet School, aged 17-20 years. Possum Magic will be followed by a 20-minute interval and a program of short works showcasing the skills of the School’s talented younger students, aged 14-16 years.
The production will be performed at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse Theatre on Friday 8th December and Saturday 9th December 2023. Prices start at $80 per adult and $65 per child.
For further information on The Australian Ballet School please visit: https://www.australianballetschool.com.au/