Joyful comedy ‘Harlequinade’ is coming to The Australian Ballet

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Joyful comedy ‘Harlequinade’ is coming to The Australian Ballet


A long lost comedy from the creator of Swan Lake, 'Harlequinade' is a lively love story based on commedia dell’arte.

Choreographed by Marius Petipa in 1900, who has choreographed some of classical ballets most enduring works, including Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, Harlequinade is a humorous romantic tale that follows the union of star-crossed lovers – Harlequin and Columbine.

What you need to know

  • The Australian Ballet are putting on a performance of Harlequinade
  • Choreographed by Marius Petipa, Harlequinade is a joyful and comedic romance tale
  • It runs from June 17 until June 25

Keep up to date with Melbourne’s latest art events, exhibitions and performances here.

Young and in love, the story follows the characters of Harlequin and Columbine. However, Columbine’s father disapproves of their union and wants her to marry a rich buffoon instead. In order to stop the pair from being together, he orders her to be locked up by Pierrot, his loyal servant. Pierrot’s wife, sympathetic to the young couple, helps her escape, and a Good Fairy gives Harlequin a magical slap stick that helps him triumph over the odds and win Columbine’s hand in marriage.


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The melodic, lilting score was composed by Riccardo Drigo, a close collaborator of Tchaikovsky’s. Sets and costumes are created by Robert Perdziola, based on a close study of the 1900 originals, which are held at a museum in St Petersburg. After his century-long sleep, the irrepressible Harlequin is wide awake and ready to charm and delight ballet lovers of all ages.

“At American Ballet Theatre in New York, Alexei Ratmansky and I brought the sad, languid clown Pierrot to life through the notations of Petipa’s ballet,” says David Mcallister, The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director. “To resurrect from the archives a ballet by one of dance’s greatest creators was something I cherished, and I look forward to passing the experience on to the artists who will perform the role here in Australia.”

Harlequinade runs from June 17 until June 25. Grab your tickets to this joyful ballet by heading here.