I loved dance when I was little. Unfortunately growing up in Tasmania meant that seeing a big (or even a little) ballet production was rare. So when the opportunity to see Sleeping Beauty at QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre), it was time. I felt like I had waited long enough. To super-power my very first ballet experience for complete immersion, I experienced an incredibly unique look behind the scenes of the Queensland Ballet just a few days prior to experiencing Swan Lake. A small group of us were invited into their rehearsal space for the company's two principal dancers to work with Li Cunxin (the internationally acclaimed - now retired ballet dancer, and Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet). They were part way through developing a new production, and it was incredible to watch the creative process unfold before our eyes as they worked together to perfect the final stages of the production. I felt shivers, was teary-eyed and came away feeling enlightened. It wasn’t just the rehearsal that was incredible, but being privy to the creative process in actual progress. This had primed me for Sleeping Beauty. Eyes tingling and starting to swell, the hair on my arms and neck stood to attention, my ears embraced with a symphony sound that sent a bolt of love to my heart; this truly was everything I had hoped the ‘experience’ of seeing the ballet would be and more. I was embraced in a passionate, warm hug that continued to grow. I now have a daughter and I can't wait until she is old enough to come with me to the ballet to enjoy the full sensory experience.
AUTHOR: Melissa Hoedel (Mel) IMAGES: courtesy of QPAC