Weaving together live music and astonishingly powerful contemporary dance, The Beginning of Nature is a compelling and ritualistic work from world-renowned Australian Dance Theatre.

Grace and strength combine in this work to create an evocative depiction of the complex symphony of rhythms in nature, that will leave audiences entranced.

Portrayed by the nine stellar dancers of ADT, this extraordinary work explores life cycles and themes of metamorphosis and transformation within nature.

With live accompaniment by a string quartet and two vocalists, the spell-binding score combines electronica, strings and a libretto sung in Kaurna language, the first language of the Adelaide Plains, home to ADT.

At times fierce and explosive, at other times graceful and meditative, this stunning work will delight and inspire.

The Beginning of Nature is a tour-de-force from one of the world’s most formidable companies, and is sure to become another seminal work for Australian Dance Theatre.


ADT respectfully acknowledges the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.
Australian Dance Theatre is supported by the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions

Learn from the best! ADT in the Riverland

Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) is one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies, recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the creation and performance of contemporary dance. We are offering local dance students the unique opportunity to learn from ADT dancers.

ADT is bringing Beginning of Nature to the Riverland in July as part of the Adelaide Dance Festival and we are very excited to offer a series of workshops to local dance students to work with the company and learn sections of the repertoire.

Tailored for dance students at intermediate and advanced level, workshops will guide participants through choreographic tasks and help them learn phrases from The Beginning of Nature. Designed to take students on a journey through the world of contemporary dance, workshops will provide the opportunity for dancers to explore the ways dance can be used to tell a story or discuss issues and themes relevant to the world today.

The July workshop will be with members of the ADT ensemble. On the evening of The Beginning of Nature performance at the Chaffey Theatre, dance groups are invited to perform the phrases they have learnt for their family and friends at a special pre-show event.

Missed out on Series 1 of the workshops?
Don’t worry, you can still get on board and learn from ADT. At the first round of workshops, participants were taught repertoire from The Beginning of Nature. This is a pre-requisite for Series 2, so we encourage you to learn the choreography from classmates who attended the Series 1 workshop with Carlie Angel, prior to attending the Series 2 workshop. Please complete the below booking form and submit to book into the workshop with the ADT ensemble on 19 July.

Join ADT ensemble dancers for a small group Q&A.
The chance to learn more from professional dancers in an intimate question and answer session. Participants will be broken into small groups and assigned a dancer from ADT, so they will feel comfortable asking any questions they have about contemporary dance, becoming a professional dancer or what it’s like working for a company like Australian Dance Theatre.

Workshop Series 2 with ADT
Venue: Berri Town Hall, 19 Wilson St, Berri
Date: Thursday 19th of July
10am-12pm (Intermediate – experience required)
1215-12:45pm – Small Group Q&A with the ADT dancers
(available to all workshop participants)
1pm-3pm (Advanced – experience required)
Price: $25 – please bring cash on the day, does not apply to students who attended Workshop Series 1

Please complete the following application form to register your interest. If you have any questions or require assistance with the form, please contact [email protected] or 8444 0400. 

Join a conversation with a string quartet who will be in the Riverland performing in the Australian Dance Theatre’s The Beginning of Nature as part of the Adelaide Dance Festival.

The hour-long discussion will centre around the history of their work in conjunction with the Australian Dance Theatre and the artistic process of performing alongside other musicians and dancers.

Please email [email protected] to book into this free talk

Venue: Chaffey Theatre, Drama Studio
Time: 6-7pm
Date: Thursday 19th of July
Price: Free

Emma Perkins – Violin
Emma is a full-time Tutti violinist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and performs with various Adelaide-based groups including the Ruby Frost Quartet, Zephyr Quartet, Sirca, Golonka, Kegelstatt Ensemble and Adelaide Concert Collective. Emma graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Adelaide in 2000 and has toured to China with West Australian Symphony Orchestra (2006) and Europe with  and the Australian Youth Orchestra (2001). She has appeared as soloist with the Adelaide Chamber Players and the Norwood Symphony Orchestra.

Emma has performed at numerous festivals, including the Barossa Festival, Ozasia, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, and the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival. Emma was a member of the Leonore String Quartet from 2008 until 2012, highlights of which included performances in ABC Classic’s ‘Sunday Live’ series, their participation in the 2009 Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition, and their 2011 Winter Artist’s Residency at the Banff Centre, Canada. Emma is also a dedicated teacher with many years of teaching experience, both in schools and privately.

Louise Beaston – Violin
With an honours degree in violin performance from the University of Adelaide, Louise has played regularly with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for the past eleven years. As a freelance violinist, Louise has had the opportunity to perform and tour with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Art Orchestra, Co-Opera and the Australian Youth Orchestra. She has also had the privilege to share the stage with international artists such as Harry Connick Jr., Michael Bublé, Burt Bacharach, Herbie Hancock and Ben Folds.

At the same time, Louise has a successful teaching career at many of Adelaide’s elite private schools, which currently include Wilderness School and St. Peter’s College. She has a distinctive skill-set which enables her to cultivate and develop the best in young students of music from reception through to matriculation and beyond. Louise has established her teaching career in individual violin lessons and group classes. As an ensemble director, she has conducted section-winning and gold placing string ensembles in various music competitions and festivals.

Linda Garrett – Viola
Linda was born at an early age and has been playing viola ever since. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a B. Mus. and university medal in 2001 and went on to complete a M. Phil. in 2003. Linda was a member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008-14 and has been playing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra since returning to Australia in 2014. She has also worked with the Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Macau Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.

Heather Stratfold – Cello
Heather studied cello with Kurt Hess (pupil of Janos Starker) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music and graduated with First Class Honours.   She toured Europe with the University Cello Ensemble and relocated to London where she spent ten years working as a freelance cellist.  Highlights included working with conductors Sir Edward Downes and Dame Joan Glover and performing for Lady Diana Spencer.

Upon returning to Australia, theatre work included productions with Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Street and Stables Theatre (previously as solo cellist with Mark Kilmurry and Elena Kats-Chernin in production of What a Piece of Work is Man).  Music theatre credits include Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Crazy for You, Showboat and West Side Story.

As a performer, touring and recording artist she worked with Luciano Pavarotti, Sir George Martin, Olivia Newton-John, Al Jarreau, Bernadette Peters, Heather Nova, The Tea Party, Dog Trumpet, Tex Perkins, Inga Liljestrom, Tina Harrod and Jackie Orszaczky.

Singing Masterclass with Shauntai Batzke and Heru Pinkasova

This exclusive masterclass is an interactive vocal workshop designed specifically for First Nations singers. It will be delivered by Shauntai Batzke and Heru Pinkasova, who are currently performing with Australian Dance Theatre in The Beginning of Nature.

Please email [email protected] to book into this free workshop.
Please note: limited spots available.

About Shauntai Batzke
Lyric Soprano, Shauntai Batzke, is a principal artist with Australia’s one and only indigenous Opera Company, Short Black Opera, and an alumni of the Melba Opera Trust. Some highlights in her career so far include singing O Mio Babbino Caro at the inauguration of the Victorian Governor, the honourable Ms Linda Dessau, in 2015. In 2015 and 2016, Shauntai participated in the Canto de las Americas Programme and performance in New York with artists and maestros from the Metropolitan Opera House through Belle Arti Center for the Arts, NY. She also made her Sydney Opera House debut in 2016 as ‘Old Alice’ in Deborah Cheetham’s opera Pecan Summer, which led to two Broadway World Australia – Sydney Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in an Opera. In 2017, Shauntai made her soprano solo debut in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at the Melbourne Recital Centre and was selected to participate in the Acclaim Awards Masterclass Series 2017. Shauntai was part of the original cast members of The Beginning of Nature.

About Heru Pinkasova
Port Moresby born soprano, Heru Pinkasova was raised in Cairns. Prior to settling in Brisbane, Heru lived in the Czech Republic for two years and studied with Eva Blahova. She has a Graduate Diploma of Opera Performance and a Bachelor of Music, having studied with Margaret Schindler and Margaret Nickson OA. Heru’s roles have included Suor Angelica and Suor Infermiere from Puccinni’s Suor Angelica, Agatha from Der Freischutz (Weber), Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni (Mozart) and The First Lady from Die Zauberflote (Mozart). Heru has been a longstanding member of the Opera Queensland Chorus. She is a recipient of The Margaret Nickson Prize, and has been awarded the Dante Alighieri Scholarship.

The Beginning of Nature is supported by

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