1. Fire retrospective â€“ Bangarra Dance Theatre
You didnâ€™t have to know anything about Bangarraâ€™s extraordinary body of work to be blown away by â€˜Fireâ€™, which traversed 40 000 years in just over two hours. Stephen Page and composer brother David are responsible for some stunning work over the past two decades, much of it repackaged here in a fluid time trip. The best dance performance in a vintage year? You better believe it.
2. The Paris Opera Ballet
Nureyevâ€™s final gift to the dance world was â€˜La BayadÃ¨reâ€™, an Indian-inspired odyssey thatâ€™s almost too grand for its own good. If that wasnâ€™t enough, an eye-popping gala showed off works from balletâ€™s biggest names including Balanchine, Kylian and Bejart. It helped that the opening night parties were among the best Brisvegas has seen in years; better yet, rumour has it that another POB tour may not be too far away. Start saving now.
3. Construct â€“ Tanja Liedtke
Paul White, Kristina Chan and the late Tanja Liedtke built â€˜Constructâ€™ in 2007 and deservedly cleaned up at this yearâ€™s Australian Dance Awards. A perceptive and often witty take on why we build things only to destroy them, â€˜Constructâ€™ elevates contemporary dance to a form of theatre accessible to many. Such brilliance comes with a sad side though, reminding us what couldâ€™ve been for this fabulously talented dance maker.
4. Queensland Ballet â€“ 2009 season
A suitably sultry â€˜Streetcar Named Desireâ€™ kicked off a solid season for the stateâ€™s own classical company. German choreographer Mario SchrÃ¶derâ€™s wild, wet â€˜Strawberry Lipsâ€™ was a winner for the 2009 â€˜International Galaâ€™, while Kim McCarthyâ€™s beautiful â€˜Nineteenâ€™ was the highlight of this yearâ€™s â€˜WithAttitudeâ€™. Recently â€˜The Sleeping Beautyâ€™ ticked all the boxes for an Xmas show, QBâ€™s third Tchaikovsky ballet in as many years.
5. The Australian Ballet at the Riverstage
QPAC renovations meant the AB skipped their usual Brisbane season, but a free, open-air event almost made up for it. Straightforward choices from the companyâ€™s repertoire (â€˜The Sleeping Beautyâ€™, â€˜Don Quixoteâ€™, â€˜Paquitaâ€™) mixed with the sizzling â€˜El Tangoâ€™ and the pas de deux from â€˜Diana and ActÃ©onâ€™. Sharing the experience with 10 000 others under the stars only added to the
And for the best of the rest, who could go past The Trocks? Forget the drag act label, these guys have superb technique and even better comic timing. Dance history 101 has never been so enjoyable.