Freelance writer – creative – media-maker
I read recently that the Paris Opera ballet, due to perform in Melbourne next year, has been cancelled as it has been considered ‘not major enough’ for the Victorian Major Events Corporation (essentially a government -controlled body) for it to contribute 500, 000 dollars out of its 5 million dollar budget, an announcement it took 4 months to make – effectively making it impossible to get the funding from elsewhere.
It is news which, as a ballet-lover, obviously saddens me. However, as someone who is a fan of all arts, it causes me upset to see that this production, among the most major of all performing arts events that would ever have taken place in Melbourne’s history, cold be deemed not important enough by the powers that be. The Corporation is happy to lose around 50 million dollars a year hosting the grand prix year after year, but not to give a helping hand to the oldest and one of the four most significant ballet companies in the world along with the Kirov, the Royal Ballet, and the New York City Ballet, in its efforts to stage Rudolf Nureyev’s last ballet La Bayadere on the only stage in Australia large enough to hold it. It would have given around 100 people and students from both the Australian ballet company and Australian Ballet School the opportunity to be part of the lavish production, of which the Paris Opera hold exclusive rights.
One wonders what this decision foreshadows for the rest of the performing arts community.