• Sanyu Kibukamusoke, Marea Kennedy, AnnDe Wouytch, Lisa Rowe and Vivica Clarke.

    Sanyu Kibukamusoke, Marea Kennedy, AnnDe Wouytch, Lisa Rowe and Vivica Clarke.

  • Nessa Delaney and Lenise Barbosa.

    Nessa Delaney and Lenise Barbosa.

  • Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and Jane Diamond

    Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and Jane Diamond

  • Alexis Reid, practicing between acts.

    Alexis Reid, practicing between acts.

  • Barbara Bohm-Bock, Ingrid van Rensburg and Paivi Parkka

    Barbara Bohm-Bock, Ingrid van Rensburg and Paivi Parkka

  • Reinhild Hofmann, Cathy Bandle and Kumiko Akimoto

    Reinhild Hofmann, Cathy Bandle and Kumiko Akimoto

  • Lenise Barbosa, Marina Zanella, Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and Koula Notaras

    Lenise Barbosa, Marina Zanella, Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and Koula Notaras

  • Daniel Gaudiello, Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and David McAllister

    Daniel Gaudiello, Asa Hasselgard-Rowe and David McAllister

Manon at the Sydney Opera House

What a treat to see this extraordinary ballet with a bunch of like minded balletomanes on a day trip to Sydney with stops along the way for morning tea, lunch, supper and ‘bubbles’ to toast the performance and relish that someone else was driving.

The matinee performance for this ballet was ideal, not just because it’s a three hour, three act, two interval dramatic performance but because there’s pleasure in taking the easy way on a bus with no haste necessary and no problem with parking in the city. There’s time to enjoy the Opera House precinct for a wander, on this occasion to marvel at the ocean liner the size of a small city dominating Circular Quay, take a quick whip around the Botanic Gardens or relax over coffee with good company.

But most of all to enjoy this Kenneth MacMillan ballet that debuted in London in 1974 and was a resounding success. This Australian Ballet production was exquisite, explicit and exhilarating, though for the mums with their little ballerinas along for a ballet treat some difficult questions to be answered at less than opportune moments during the performance.

Manon is epic; from Paris to New Orleans the choreography is demanding and you know it’s going to end in tears, sadly in a Louisiana swamp that is well realized by the designers with swirling mist and the Spanish Moss dripping with symbolism. As an extra treat Artistic Director David McAllister with the handsome and athletic principal dancer Daniel Gaudiello joined us at our after show party happily answering questions and chatting over a beer with our group. He with wife Lana Jones – local graduate of the Canberra Youth Ballet School – is heading overseas after this season of Manon. We headed home with plenty to opine about as Manon left a lasting impression.