Brisbane native brings unique stage experience to hometown

Dancers Alana Sargent, left, and Jessica Thompson perform in the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Dance Company's new show Project Rameau.
Dancers Alana Sargent, left, and Jessica Thompson perform in the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Dance Company's new show Project Rameau. Peter Greig - Contributed by ACO publicity

THE Sydney Dance Company and Australian Chamber Orchestra's innovative Project Rameau is on its way to Brisbane.

The collaboration between the two performance bodies was a sell-out during its premiere in Sydney in October last year.

Brisbane native Dale Baltrop, violinist and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, replaces Richard Tognetti as the ACO's guest violinist at QPAC.

"It's an incredible opportunity for me to be guest leading the ACO but to do it in my home town where I grew up makes it even more special," he told APN on the phone from San Diego, where he is a regular guest at the annual Mainly Mozart Festival.

"I'm very much looking forward to it."

Project Rameau uses 18 separate movements from eight of 18th-century composer Philippe Rameau's acclaimed operas alongside three interludes from Vivaldi and Bach.

The ACO performers are seated on stage and can be seen playing as the SDC's dancers perform in the French Baroque style for which Rameau wrote many of his operas.

"Stylistically it's quite challenging because unlike a lot of the Italian Baroque composers we're more familiar with, like Vivaldi, Rameau has a very unique style," Baltrop said.

"It requires a rather different approach. It's extremely visceral music and I would say very evocative and powerful.

"There are definitely some numbers that are extremely fast and furious and require everyone to be on the edge of their seats."

Baltrop, who is travelling from North America specifically for the shows, said Project Rameau is collaboration in the "true sense of the word".

"A lot of the music was conceived for the stage and for dance, so you have to approach it with that in mind," he said.

"The orchestra is on stage as part of the backdrop for the dancing, which is wonderful because it draws the two elements very much together. You hear the music and the music is enhanced through watching these beautiful dance numbers. It's a wonderful amalgamation."

Project Rameau plays a strictly limited season at QPAC's Playhouse from July 11 to 13.

Tickets start from $53.85 plus booking fee. To book go to

Topics:  dance music performing arts qpac

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