This new photographic exhibition takes the ballerinas and their tutus out of their comfort zones and into the bustling, urban world

As the official tour photographer of The Australian Ballet, artist Lisa Tomasetti has spent years travelling around the world and back again, snapping some of Australia's most graceful creatures in their spotlight-lit habitat.

While on the road, however, Tomasetti had also been working on her own stills with the dancers, sneaking them away between rehearsals and during small breaks in their crazy-busy schedules. With only minutes to spare, the photographer would take dancers into the streets of their temporary homes of Paris, Tokyo and New York and shoot them out in the open. In these spirited, yet, elegant shots, there are no lights, no clean stages, and no plush, velvet curtains - just the ballerinas, Tomasetti's lens and the harshness of city life.

Related story: Dance meets installation: inside the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award

Opening this week at M Contemporary in Sydney, Tomasetti will show these beautiful works in her exhibition The Australian Ballet on the International Stage. "These images intend to capture the energy, grace and passion for movement, embodied by the dancers, and juxtapose the classical form with the gritty urban landscape of these iconic cities," she explains. "In this series, the dancers are removed from the highly controlled interior environment of the stage, and taken outside to the streets of multiple city locations."  

Ballet lovers, consider diary-dating Sunday November 22 at the gallery when Tomasetti, dancers from the Australian Ballet and David Graeme McAllister AM, artistic director of The Australian Ballet will come together to celebrate the works. Head to mcontemp.com for more details.

Urban grace: The Australian Ballet takes to the streets 

Related stories:
The Buro 24/7 culture guide: November
State of the art: the creative world of artist Hannah Grossberg
Get your culture fix at this new Melbourne art space