From the Sydney Opera House to the Melbourne Arts Centre; the Australian Ballet puts on shows all around the country, performing everything from contemporary ballets to classics such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Founded in 1962, it’s Australia’s leading ballet company and is based along Melbourne’s Southbank.
Attending a performance by the Australian Ballet is a popular experience for fans of the ballet and shows often sell out. Head to the Melbourne Arts Centre, where performances of ballets such as Romeo & Juliet and Anna Karenina are held year-round, or visit the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre, the dance company’s official headquarters. Join a guided tour to explore the dance studios, learn about the dancers’ training and rehearsals, and discover the secrets behind the world-class productions.
Outside of Melbourne, the company performs regularly at the Sydney Opera House, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, and the Adelaide Festival Centre in Adelaide, as well as touring internationally.
Things to know before you go
- Melbourne Arts Centre is one of the city’s most popular venues. Shows can sell out quickly, so booking tickets in advance is highly recommended.
- The Melbourne Arts Centre has a free cloakroom, a bar, and a restaurant.
- Ballet Centre tours last 1-hour and must be booked in advance. Children over the age of six can join the tour.
- Both the Melbourne Arts Centre and the Ballet Centre are wheelchair-accessible; advance booking is required.
How to get there
The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre and the Melbourne Arts Centre are located in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct, just a 5-minute walk from each other. The closest tram stops are Sturt St/Southbank Bvd (Tram #1), right by the Ballet Centre, and Arts Precinct/St Kilda Rd (multiple tram lines), right opposite the Arts Centre.
When to get there
The Australian Ballet performs all year-round with regular shows at the Melbourne Arts Centre—evening performances typically start at 7pm, with matinee performances held at weekends. Tours of the Ballet Centre are typically only held from April and October.
Arts and Theater in in Melbourne
Renowned as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne offers plenty of options to enjoy live music, dance, and theater. Head to the East End Theater District, where theaters such as the Regent Theatre, Princess Theatre, and Her Majesty’s Theatre host blockbuster musicals like The Lion King and Wicked. Nearby, the Forum is one of the city’s top live music venues, where both international artists and local bands take to the stage. Across the river, there’s always something going on in the Southbank Arts Precinct, where you’ll find the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Malthouse Theatre, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
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