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Venue Lennox Theatre
Dates 14 April - 17 April 2021
Category Live Event

Sydney Choreographic Ensemble in association with Riverside Theatres Presents
A contemporary ballet by Francesco Ventriglia

Heroes and heroines. Dark secrets and magical endings. Fairytale characters as you have never seen them before. GRIMM promises a world of imagination and beauty as Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and others find a path through the mysteries and dangers of youth to find joy, understanding and maturity. There will be a witch, of course, but expect the unexpected in this very modern version of old stories.

Sydney Choreographic Ensemble’s Francesco Ventriglia has made work around the globe (Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Grand Théâtre du Genève, La Scala, Florence Opera House, Royal New Zealand Ballet) and now brings his passion to this dazzling new contemporary dance piece, which will have its world premiere at  Riverside Theatres Parramatta. Grimm is designed by three-time Oscar winner James Acheson (The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons, Restoration) and will feature cutting-edge 3D video projection. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience.

Please Note:

There is a lockout 5 minutes after the show starts and latecomers will not be permitted.

This production contains smoke haze.

Age recommendation 14+

Please Note:

Tickets to this event are sold to 100% of capacity. All Riverside patrons will be seated in line with current NSW Public Health guidelines, allowing patrons to be seated alongside each other. NSW Health strongly recommends you wear a mask when you are inside places where it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

Please note that NSW Health regularly updates areas where there may be concerns regarding potential case transmission of COVID-19.  Prior to attending your performance, we suggest patrons check the latest Case Alert Updates from Health NSW and follow the instructions regarding Close Contacts and requirements for self-isolation and/or COVID testing as stipulated by Health NSW and the current NSW Public Health Orders. Please note that patrons who have visited any identified alert area must NOT attend public performances or gatherings of any type. If you have any questions and would like to discuss this with a member of our team, please contact our Box Office staff on 02 8839 3399 or email

Riverside Theatres is registered with the NSW Government as a COVID Safe venue. Our COVID Safe plan was developed in line with federal and state government health guidelines, and following consultation with Live Performance Australia, other NSW venues, and various government bodies, on enhanced health, hygiene and safety measures. These measures include: defined audience capacity; social distancing; wearing face masks; mandatory Service NSW QR code registration check in; extra cleaning; increased sanitisation of high-touch surfaces; the provision of hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes and hand washing facilities throughout the venue; traffic management plans to alleviate congestion in public spaces.

Please review our Patron Safety Information before you visit us at Riverside.

It is also important that if you are unwell you stay at home. We have updated our ticket conditions and our Box Office team are available to talk through possible exchange and refund options. You can contact the Box Office on 02 8839 3399 or email

Thank you for keeping our community safe.


Having graduated from the La Scala Ballet school, Francesco joined the ballet company of La Scala in 1997, making his debut as a soloist in William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated at La Scala in 1998, and in 1999 was cast as the Bronze Idol by Natalia Makarov in her production of La Bayadère.

He danced numerous soloist roles with the company, including that of the Toreador in Roland Petit’s Carmen and Quasimodo in Notre Dame de Paris and also works by Balanchine, Ailey, Neumeier, Cranko, Preljocaj, Godani, Kylián and Béjart. Internationally, his performances with La Scala included Hilarion at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at Covent Garden, opposite Sylvie Guillem in her creation of Giselle.

He began his chorographic career whilst a dancer at La Scala, having created a diverse repertoire for the Ballet School of La Scala, his own company Heliopolis and other freelance works. For Roberto Bolle, he created The Fight (Curia of the Roman Senate in the Imperial Forum); New Year’s Concert (La Fenice, Venice, later televised); and The Myth of the Phoenix (Teatro Smeraldo, Milan).

The Heliopolis Company made its debut at the Venice Biennale in 2007, with a new piece “Il Mare in Catena” (The Sea in Chains), an investigation of eroticism and physical disability with the original music of Emiliano Palmieri, which was nominated for the Golden Lion. The following year he created a new work “Normale”, which explored the concept of love and mental health: with these two titles Francesco curated a diptych as an investigation of differences present in modern society. Also in 2007, he created Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Jago, the honest poetry of deception, for the Arena di Verona, with étoile of the Opéra National de Paris, Eleonora Abbagnato and Alessandro Riga. His pas de deux, Black has been performed at the Bolshoi Theatre by Svetlana Zakharova and Andrei Merkuriev (2008) and in New York by Irina Dvororenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky. In 2008 for the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg he created Contraddizioni for Ulyana Lopatkina. In 2009 he created a new work specifically for Svetlana Zakharova titled SuperGame which is a multimedia collaboration for the prima ballerina and six principal dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet. Additionally, his works included Immemoria, a work for 40 dancers to music by Shostakovich, premiering at La Scala in May 2010, and Sed lux permanent – Transit umbra, to music by Schoenberg, for the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Between 2007 and 2012, Francesco and Emiliano Palmieri collaborated on four creations: Il Mare in Catene, Normale, Pinocchio and Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory.

In October 2010 he was appointed director of MaggioDanza in Florence, Italy.

In 2014, for Anna Antonickeva and Andrey Merkuriev (Principals of the Bolshoi Theatre) he created the evening “Fortuna vis Lucem: Bolero and Carmina Burana”, performed with the New Ballet RU of Moscow, in tour across Russia and Cannes.

Francesco was appointed as the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Artistic Director in November 2014. In 2015 he led the company on an international tour (The UK and Italy). Additionally, he increased the repertoire of the Company, introducing never before performed choreographers to New Zealand audiences such as Andonis Foniadakis, Alexander Ekman and Roland Petit.

In 2016 he created a newly staged, longer version of his work “Wizard of Oz”, touring across New Zealand. Originally devised for MaggioDanza, it was never performed after the theatre was closed on opening night due to building structural issues. The restaged production, designed by Gianluca Falaschi, toured New Zealand and was seen by over 38,000 people in its first season. Well received by audiences and critics alike, the production is regarded as one of the most successful productions created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Regularly interviewed internationally in both print and radio media as an advocate for ballet and Italian Dance, Francesco was invited to be a judge of The Genée International Ballet Competition 2016, alongside other judges David McAllister of the Australian Ballet and Kevin O’Hare of the Royal Ballet.

Francesco’s tenure as Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet concluded in June 2017, however he continued his artistic relationship with the company, creating a new full length ballet, Romeo and Juliet which toured nationally. Designed by triple Academy Award winner James Acheson, the production was both a critical and box office success. Reviewed as his “Love letter to New Zealand”, the production was hailed as a “splendid and triumphant” production.

From 2018 Francesco was appointed Adjunct Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Uruguay, and held the position until 2020.

In 2021, Francesco established himself in Sydney and co=founded the Sydney Choreographic Centre with Neil Christopher. Part of the Centre, is the resident performing group, Sydney Choreographic Ensemble which makes its debut with the world premiere of Grimm at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre


James Acheson is a British costume designer.  He is a three-time Academy Award winner for Costume Design for his work on the films The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, Dangerous Liaisons, directed by Stephen Frears and Restoration, directed by Michael Hoffman. Acheson won a BAFTA award for his work as costume designer on The Last Emperor. Acheson was recognized with a Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild in 2004.

His film work includes Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985), both directed by Terry Gilliam, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983) and The Wind in the Willows (1996), directed by Terry Jones, Highlander (1986), directed by Russel Mulcahy, The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), directed by Randall Wallace and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), directed by Kenneth Branagh.

In the early 1990s, Acheson returned to work with his The Last Emperor director, Bernardo Bertolucci, on The Sheltering Sky and the film Little Buddha, serving as both costume designer and production designer of the artistic project.

Acheson gained his experience working on superhero films by signing on for the first three Spider-Man movies, directed by Sam Raimi as well as Man of Steel (2013) directed by Zack Snyder.

His theatre work includes, Hamlet in London and on Broadway starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by Jonathan Kent and The Marriage of Figaro in both Vienna and at The Metropolitan Opera, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.

For the Royal New Zealand Ballet he designed both sets and costumes for a new production of Prokofiev’s, Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia.

Francesco Ventriglia  choreographer
James Acheson set & costume design
Marco Giani video & audio design
Alex Berlage lighting design

Neil Christopher production coordinator

Music by J.S Bach, A. Part and more.

Ariella Casu
Victor Zarallo
Holly Doyle
Brittany-jayde Duwner
Alex Borg



Sydney Choreographic Ensemble’s Francesco Ventriglia has made work around the globe (Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Grand Théâtre du Genève, La Scala, Florence Opera House, Royal New Zealand Ballet) and now brings his passion to this dazzling new contemporary dance piece, which will have its world premiere at  Riverside

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