When Ivan Cavallari originally staged this major international production of Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew with West Australian Ballet in 2008, it was a significant coup and lauded as the beginning of a golden age for the company. The ballet's immense popularity with Perth audiences prompted Cavallari to include it in his 2011 season.
The Taming of the Shrew is acknowledged as one of Cranko's finest works, with virtuoso choreography and vivid characterization, eloquently interpreted from Shakespeare's original comic masterpiece. It is both hilarious, and deeply romantic - enjoyable by all ages.
"I always want people to enjoy themselves" - John Cranko
The Taming of the Shrew is set in Padua Italy, this is the story of Kate, famed for her fiery temperament, whose father has decreed she must marry before her sister Bianca. Bianca has three suitors who realise that a husband must be found for Kate, the "Shrew", in order to clear the way for their designs. Meanwhile the coarse and conceited Petruchio arrives on the scene in search of a wealthy bride. Although his motives are insincere at first, he proves to be more than a match for Kate as their relationship blooms.
The Taming of the Shrew will feature the full company of West Australian Ballet, joined once again by star of the Stuttgart Ballet, Filip Barankiewicz. Set to a stunning score by Kurt-Heinze Stolze, the production features lavish set and costumes by Elizabeth Dalton. It will be performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by international guest conductor Myron Romanul.
"West Australian Ballet performed the work brilliantly... If you have never seen a ballet before or have never been interested in ballet, then The Taming of the Shrew, is the ballet for you! I was entertained from start to finish!" - Dance Informa, 2008
"Make no mistake. This production marks the beginning of a golden age for West Australian Ballet." The West Australian, 2008
"How beautiful the dancing is: How brilliantly Cranko was able to weave character and movement and music together... Cranko's choreography, so lightly fitted to the music, so fill of whip turns and bodies coiling close together, is a pleasure to watch." The Vancouver Sun
The Taming of the Shrew opens at His Majesty's Theatre on 9 September and runs until 24 September. Tickets $20 - $104. Suitable for all ages. Bookings through BOCS Ticketing on (08) 9484 1133, www.bocsticketing.com.au.
About John Cranko:
South Africa's John Cranko began his career dancing with Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet and Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden. At only 23 years of age, he began his choreographic career, creating many ballets for Sadler's Wells and the Royal Ballet.
Cranko accepted an invitation to become director of the Stuttgart Ballet in 1961, and turned the provincial German company into one of the world's leading ensembles, with a team of superb dancers - such as Haydée, Barra, and Cragun.
His early death from a heart attack was a tremendous loss to the international ballet world, as well as to Stuttgart. As a choreographer, he was one of the few in the late 20th century to create creditable full-length story ballets. He could handle comedy, tragedy, and romance equally well, and his productions of Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, and Taming of the Shrew have become mainstays of the international repertoire.