“The Triple Bill centerpiece is “Equus” directed choreographed and designed by
The multi talented Domy Reiter-Soffer. Acclaimed for his flair for translating text into movement. Reiter-Soffer has created a ballet that evokes the theme of Peter Shaffer's Play more forcefully than the original. Movements designed to convey subtle character traits and reveal states of mind are bound with physical movements requiring a high degree of technical competence. The work makes interpretive demands on the performers and they were equal to the challenge.
Paul De Masson is outstanding in the role of the psychiatrist Martin Dysart, and Campbell McKenzie in his interpretation is one with the disturbed Alan Strang.
These two principal characters, and indeed the smaller supporting roles, display strong dramatic capacity. The music By Wilfred Joseph in close collaboration with the choreographer reflects the action of the ballet: the harmonically complexed score is aggressive and dramatic.”
(Pamela Carsaniga- Dance Magazine).


“It has been an exciting week for the Arts in Sydney , with important platforms open for contemporary creativity. The Australian Ballet at the Opera House opened with an adventurous work by the choreographer Domy Reiter-Soffer's dramatic ballet “Equus” based on Peter Shaffer's play, was in contrast, a highly-charged, emotional work. Reiter-Soffer has a strong sense of theatre and unusual sense of the alien. His horses were projections of the animal world. The insanity was marvelously portrayed choreographically and skillfully used in the psychological tension.
Superb Dancing from Paul De Masson as Martin Dysart (psychiatrist) and Stephen Heathcote as the disturbed boy and a powerful imagery from Peter Lucardou-Wells as the favorite horse Nugget.”
(Nadine Amadio- Sunday Telegraph).


“The blood and guts-literally- of the evening comes with “Equus”, based on Peter Shaffer's play about a disturbed adolescent who blinds six horses for no apparent reason. Campbell McKenzie takes a strong and impressive turn in the spotlight as the young Alan Strang. His tragic youth is marvelously complemented by Paul De Masson as the psychiatrist who in the course of treating Alan, discovers the equally tragic barrenness of his own life. These two outstanding performances are backed by more spectacular ensamble work with the horses being particularly impressive”.
( Elizabeth Swallow- The Telegraph).


“Equus work number two on the programme, in its Australian premiere, was wondrous and vital, and surely proclaimed young Steven Heathcote as a worthy star. Equus has a strange, fierce story, about a boy who worships the wild beauty of horses but blinds them in a fit of rage when they witness his love making to a lass in the hay. Paul De Masson as the psychiatrist treating him was outstanding with an astounding performances from all the performers especially “Nugget” the main horse danced by Peter Lucardou-Wells”.
(Leslie Walford- Sunday Telegraph).


“If the audience response alone is a criteria on which a ballet is judged, then the Friday evening's performance of the Australian ballet's Triple Bill indicated that the choreographer Domy Reiter-Soffer work “Equus” was a clear winner. The work is based on Peter's Shaffer's disturbing play in which a psychiatrist attempts to unravel the reason behind a 17 year old boy's act of blinding six horses. The ballet remains a strong psychodrama but treads a fine line in avoiding its comic flipside; such avoidance depends upon the actual performers.
On opening night Melbourne enthusiastically welcomed the return of former principal Paul De Masson who took the role of the psychiatrist. It was indeed a joy to watch such accomplished and mature interpretation of the role. Equally, Colin Peasley as the boy's father was outstanding in bringing a whole gamut of emotions to the force. As the young man in question, Campbell Mckenzie proved his developing talents lie more in the direction of modern works. Performed to a turgid score by Wilfred Josephs in an excellent performance from the State Orchestra of Victoria . Such Subject matter may seem an odd choice for a ballet, but not when you consider Mr. Reiter-Soffer's eclectic tastes and choreographical talents his was a substantial contibution and Equus formed the ‘meat' of this programme”.
(Claire Stonier-Kipen- Theatre).


“Equus gives audiences a far better indication of the capabilities of the company. It is a dramatic and muscular example of ‘theatre dance', which demands as much maturity and acting ability as it does skilled dance. The opening night cast featured Paul De Masson as the psychiatrist and Campbell McKenzie as the boy who has blinded six horses. They both were simply stunning, over the years we have come to expect fine acting from De Masson, but to find such subtlety and maturity in McKenzie is gratifying indeed. Having seen a performance of Shaffer's play, I can't help but judge the ballet against the play”.
(Chris Boyd- The Melbourne Times”.


“Domy Reiter-Soffer's “Equus” with The Australian Ballet last night at the Opera House was a triumph. The ballet is based on Peter Shaffer's play and it is a show- piece for the company. Six men dancing the horses whose eyes are put out by a disturbed boy. The boy and his psychiatrist are also fulfilling roles, here cast expertly with Campbell McKenzie and Paul De Masson who show complete understanding of the trauma underlying the drama. I think that Reiter-Soffer's creation of obvious effects, and the boisterous score of Wilfred Josephs suit admirably. There is no pretence at anything but theatricality in the dance, which is staggering. The psychiatrist's anguish, memorably portrayed by Paul De Masson, and the boy's disturbed adolescence, equally impressive in McKenzie's dancing, are no more than what they seem: painful emotional states.
Steven Heathcote led the sextet of horses splendidly. The choreographer has captured the equine nobility that is more often written about, painted or photographed than danced to impressive effect”.
(The Sun Herald)


“The evening had the feeling of celebration, so strong are the memories of the first production of “Equus” in 1984 that this present performance became a celebration of its earlier cast as much as its current one, particularly Paul De Masson, whose recreation of his original role as the psychiatrist is just as powerful as before.
Equus is a dramatic and chilling work and both Paul De Masson and Campbell McKenzie, as the boy Alan Strang who commits the appalling crime of blinding six horses, give a splendid performances. The Gradual unfolding of the relationship between the psychiatrist and the boy and the ever increasing frustration and disillusionment with his own abilities, reveal in his oscillation between upright bulling and gentle coercion, are dealt with very summarily. The boy's parents, who play a significant part in his mental breakdown, are broadly drawn. The horses, however are magnificent, overtly homo-erotic and powerful, it is easy to see why this boy becomes so infatuated with them”.
(Vicki Fairfax- The Sunday Herald).


“After the interval we once again enjoyed the gutsy ballet ‘Equus', created by Domy Reiter-Soffer. Each time we witness this very sensual piece of dance, its impact is stronger. A modern ballet set in a psychiatrist's office, it concerns a young man experiencing the pains and problems of adolescence that, after finding sensual fulfillment while horse riding, also find it opens his eyes to maturity.
Alan Strang was danced by Campbell McKenzie, strongly supported by Paul De Masson as his psychiatrist Martin Dysart. The other stars of this utterly engrossing ballet were the six horses led by Steven Heathcote. Their every nuance-be it head tilt, a prance or a bold step- were extraordinarily satisfying to observe capturing one's imagination.”
(Graham Harris- Weekly southern Courier).


“ The central ballet of the evening was ‘Equus' the dance adaptation of Peter Shaffer's play. This strong and vibrant work tells in dance of the boy who blinded six horses with a metal spike. It provides two major roles the psychiatrist and the boy. Paul De Masson has always been a great dancer Actor, his interpretation of the tormented doctor has grown immensely in the power it projects into the theatre. The horses are forceful and have a fearful presence. Steven Heathcote brings an overt sexuality to Nugget. His strutting, stamping, head tossing and audible horse breathing, add up to a logical nakedness of intent as stated in the play. This horse is the most naked thing you have ever seen. Campbell McKenzie danced Alan Strang with remarkable power. The ballet Equus is dramatically sound and a powerful piece that can readily justify its place in the repertoire.
(Blair Edgar- Arts- The Sunday Herald).

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