In Alexei Ratmansky’s revival of Marius Petipa’s lost classic “Harlequinade,” we have the familiar characters Pierrot and Pierette, Harlequin and Columbine. Known from paintings, figurines, pantomimes, other ballets, sweets, and from the commedia dell’arte. With a chorus of characters, young and old, coloured by collective, ever-changing memory over the centuries, the Australian Ballet presents “Harlequinade” a co-production with American Ballet Theatre. This merry romp, a light-hearted play, a confection for the senses. True to history, “Harlequinade’s” appeal lies in its quick-change movements of the familiar, stock characters and the quick-change movements of the story. In his pre-curtain address, on opening night, Artistic Director David Hallberg offered forth a tumbling “sugar rush” to tuck into.
Callum Linnane and Brett Chynoweth (Harlequin) in ”Harlequinade” by Alexei Ratmansky. Photograph by Jeff Busby