Seven of The Australian Ballet’s leading dancers, including principals Madeleine Eastoe and Lana Jones, last Sunday night (2 Nov) performed the seventh annual pas de deux in paradise under the stars at Hamilton Island’s luxury resort, qualia.
The intimate, behind the scenes qualia experience began with the exclusive viewing of the morning barre session set up on a purpose built stage at the resort’s Pebble Beach, overlooking the idyllic Whitsundays. Hosted by the company’s Artistic Director, David McAllister AM, guests watched in awe as the dancers warmed up for the evening’s performance.
As the sun began to set, guests took their seat at the supper club style dinner setting around qualia’s Pebble Beach pool. Three thousand garden roses in blush, peach and cream and 400 phalaenopsis orchids were flown in for the occasion with the floral arrangements delicately floated in the pool among candle light.
Guests sipped on Charles Heidsieck champagne and lychee martinis as emcee Catriona Rowntree and David McAllister introduced the five acts as choreographed by Stephen Baynes. The dancers then performed in between courses prepared by qualia Executive Chef, Alastair Waddell.
The evening concluded with a standing ovation for the dancers and a surprise fireworks display organised by the Oatley family, owners of Hamilton Island and long standing supporters of The Australian Ballet, to celebrate the national dance company and their extraordinary talents.