The Australian Ballet returns to the State Theatre on August 25 with British Liaisons featuring three of the biggest names in British choreography.

Soloist Brett Simon, who joined the Australian Ballet in 2009 from a two-year stint at Hong Kong Ballet, will appear in all three pieces that make up the show.

“They’re all pieces that have had an influence on the Australian Ballet up until now – three generations of ballet, if you like,” he told the Star Observer.

The styles across the three works run the gamut from classical to contemporary ballet – a challenge for any dancer, but one that Simon said he relishes.

“I love the versatility of being able to do both. Australian Ballet’s a great place for that, because our repertoire is so varied.”

It also makes a change from Simon’s time at the Hong Kong Ballet, with its classical repertoire and an especially disciplined working culture, even within the already disciplined world of dance.

“The majority of dancers were from mainland China, and the main difference I noticed was that in my training we’ve been taught to question things a bit more, but that didn’t really happen there.

“They’re very hard workers, but they kept their heads down. I’m generalising, but the style over there is to do what’s instructed without thinking about it too much.

“Personally, I like to think a little more about why I’m doing something – the emotion of the dancing, not just the technique.”

info: British Liaisons, August 25-September 3, State Theatre.

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