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Ballet on Hamo an extraordinary event

By Mark Beale

A TOTAL of 3000 garden roses in blush, peach and cream and 400 phalaenopsis orchids were flown in to Hamilton Island for the Australian Ballet’s ‘Pas de Deux in Paradise’ last weekend.

Seven of the company’s leading dancers, including principals Madeleine Eastoe and Lana Jones, performed in the seventh annual event, held at the island’s luxury qualia resort.

The intimate, behind the scenes ballet spectacular, began with an exclusive viewing of the morning barre session, set up on a purpose-built stage at the resort’s Pebble Beach.

Under the direction of the Australian Ballet’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 seats at the supper club-style dinner setting around qualia’s Pebble Beach pool, where the floral arrangements delicately floated in the pool among lit candles.

Guests sipped on Charles Heidsieck champagne and lychee martinis as MC Catriona Rowntree joined David McAllister to introduce the five acts choreographed by Stephen Baynes.

The dancers then performed in between courses prepared by qualia’s 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.

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